Rebecca Long Bailey and Emily Thornberry launch Labour leadership campaigns

  • Video report by ITV News Political Correspondent Paul Brand

Rebecca Long Bailey and Emily Thornberry have set out their visions for the Labour Party as they launched their rival bids to succeed Jeremy Corbyn as leader.

Shadow business secretary Ms Long Bailey vowed to “shake up” the way Government works and put power into the hands of voters, as she kicked off her campaign with a speech in Manchester on Friday evening.

And shadow foreign secretary Ms Thornberry launched her leadership bid in her hometown of Guildford in the afternoon, after she narrowly secured necessary support from MPs to enter the race on Monday.

"We may be hurting, and we may be wounded, but we are not beaten... we're going to tell Boris Johnson no - our fight is not over, our fight is just starting," she told her supporters.

  • Emily Thornberry launches her leadership bid in her hometown of Guildford

The two frontbenchers are up against shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer, Wigan MP Lisa Nandy and Birmingham Yardley’s Jess Phillips in the contest, the result of which will be announced on April 4.

Sir Keir Starmer was the early frontrunner for the Labour leadership. Credit: PA

Ms Long Bailey promised to end the “gentlemen’s club of politics” by devolving power out of Westminster, while pledging to introduce a “Green New Deal” that unites Labour heartlands.

“Where I grew up, Westminster, even London, felt like a million miles away,” she said.

“The story of the last few years is that many people feel there is something wrong with their laws being drafted hundreds of miles away by a distant and largely unaccountable bureaucratic elite in Brussels.

“But I’ll be honest, Westminster didn’t feel much closer, and it still doesn’t today.

“That’s why I want to shake up the way Government works and deliver a clear message to voters: we will put power where it belongs – in your hands.

“The British state needs a seismic shock, to prise it open at all levels to the people – their knowledge, their skills, their demands.”

Ms Long Bailey said “proper democracy” takes power away from the “offshore bank account and places it on the ballot paper, so workers can have more and chief executives less, and we can tackle the climate crisis with a Green New Deal that unites all of Labour’s heartlands”.

“We will end the gentlemen’s club of politics and we will be setting out plans to go further by devolving power out of Westminster to a regional and local level.”

Credit: PA Graphics

She scored a significant boost in her quest to lead the party after securing the backing of the Momentum campaign group on Thursday.

Though the result was not unexpected, the left-winger will now be boosted by the campaigning firepower of the group, which has long supported the outgoing leader.

As she launched her Labour leadership bid on Friday, Ms Thornberry will warn that Labour faces “a long, tough road back to power” after the party suffered its worst general election defeat since 1935.

Emily Thornberry says Labour faces a 'tough road' back to power. Credit: PA

“In my 42 years as a member of the Labour Party, there is no fight or campaign our movement has waged where I have not been on the frontline.

“And since coming to Parliament 15 years ago, I’ve also been on the frontline in the fights against climate change, Universal Credit, and anti-abortion laws in Northern Ireland.

“I’ve led the charge as shadow foreign secretary against Donald Trump and the war in Yemen. And in the two years I shadowed Boris Johnson as foreign secretary, I showed him up every time for the lying, reckless charlatan that he is.”

Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner was also endorsed as deputy leader following the confirmatory ballot of Momentum members.

Meanwhile, the party said that around 14,700 people applied to register as temporary Labour supporters to vote in the leadership contest.

The 48-hour window to apply to be a temporary supporter closed at 5pm on Thursday, and applicants who meet the eligibility requirements will be able to vote in the leader and deputy leader elections.