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Rebecca Long-Bailey accused of lying over boast of working until 3am to prepare for meeting

Labour leadership contender Rebecca Long-Bailey was accused of lying today after giving an account of working through the night to prepare for a crucial anti-austerity meeting.

The left-wing candidate to replace Jeremy Corbyn told an event at the weekend how she worked until 3am in 2016 after the resignation of Robert Marris left the party’s treasury team in the lurch.

She said that after he quit she pulled out all the stops and worked into the early hours to prepare for a committee hearing on the Finance Bill ‘the next day’.

But Hansard, the official parliamentary record, shows that the meeting did not take place until five days after Mr Marris, the Wolverhampton South West MP, quit as a shadow minister in June 2016, according to Politics Home.

Labour moderate MP Neil Coyle, who supported former leadership rival Jess Phillips, tweeted that it was ‘extraordinary to think such a brazen lie will go unnoticed’.

She told an event at the weekend she worked until 3am in 2016 after the resignation of Robert Marris left the party’s treasury team in the lurch

But Hansard, the official parliamentary record, shows that the meeting did not take place until five days after Mr Marris, the Wolverhampton South West MP, quit as a shadow minister in June 2016, according to Politics Home.

But Hansard, the official parliamentary record, shows that the meeting did not take place until five days after Mr Marris, the Wolverhampton South West MP, quit as a shadow minister in June 2016, according to Politics Home.

Robert Marris (second right, in 2009, with Gordon Brown) quit Jeremy Corbyn's treasury team in June 2016 and stepped down as an MP at the 2017 election.

Robert Marris (second right, in 2009, with Gordon Brown) quit Jeremy Corbyn’s treasury team in June 2016 and stepped down as an MP at the 2017 election.

It came after Ms Long-Bailey threw down the gauntlet for other Labour leadership contenders to back a major re-nationalisation programme and commit to public ownership of key utilities.

Labour leadership challenger Emily Thornberry delivers a grovelling apology after saying she ‘hates the SNP’ 

Emily Thornberry today delivered a grovelling apology to the SNP after sparking a backlash for saying she ‘hates’ the party. 

The Labour leadership challenger made the comment at a hustings event last week and provoked fury from the party as she labelled its members ‘Tories wrapped up in nationalist clothing’. 

Today she tried to rebuild bridges with the SNP as she said sorry to the party’s MPs in the House of Commons while taking part in a debate on Donald Trump’s proposed Middle East peace plan. 

She said: ‘Before I begin, could I take a brief moment to apologise to my colleagues on the SNP benches for the language I used in the heat of hustings last week. 

‘When we are debating the Middle East, it is a salutary reminder to me both that there is no place for hatred in our politics and also that on almost every foreign policy issue including this one we have opposed the Tory government together and I am sorry for what I said.’

Ms Thornberry had told the hustings event: ‘I hate the SNP. I think they’re Tories wrapped up in nationalist clothing. I think they pretend to be on the Left.’ 

The shadow foreign secretary’s unequivocal apology was welcomed by senior SNP figures. 

One of the party’s frontbenchers, Pete Wishart, tweeted: ‘A full apology from Emily Thornberry for her “I hate the SNP” comment. Just made in the chamber. 

‘Good to see senior MPs put their hands up when they get the tone so badly wrong.’

 

Seen as a front-runner to succeed Jeremy Corbyn, the shadow business secretary vowed on Wednesday night to ‘stand up to the rip-off privatisers’ with plans to re-nationalise energy, water, rail and Royal Mail.

In a speech to Labour activists on Saturday, Ms Long Bailey described events after Mr Marris resigned the Labour frontbench, part-way through lengthy work to  analyse and rebut the complex Finance Bill.

‘I went in and I spoke to John [McDonnell] and I started ranting and I think my exact words were, ”if they think they are going to get rid of us then they’re going to have to carry me out kicking and screaming”. 

‘And I sat in that office until about 3am going through all the clauses.

‘Richard Burgon was dragged in at one point. Angela Rayner was dragged in and she got us a Domino’s pizza because we were starving. 

‘And we got through the clauses and we went to the Finance Bill committee the next day fully prepared, and I was pretty good if I’m honest.’

Mr McDonnell was among those who publicly corroborated Ms Long-bailey’s account. 

However, Hansard shows that the committee rose after Mr Marris’s resignation on June 30, and did not sit again until July 5. 

A spokesman for Ms Long-Bailey’s leadership campaign said that he quit ’49 clauses in’ to a bill with 191 clauses.

‘Following the session, Rebecca went up to her office to speak to Jeremy Corbyn, and when it transpired that the bulk of the files for the other clauses on the shared drive had been deleted, it became apparent that Rebecca alone would have to respond to the remainder of the bill, he added.

‘Rebecca recalls her and her staff having to work all through the weekend including during the night until 3am each day until the next sitting day, which commenced on Tuesday at 9am. 

‘When the committee concluded the following Thursday, David Gauke commented: ”In the circumstances—I speak from experience, having held the Opposition Front Bencher role on Finance Bills—she has acted with great thoroughness and determination, and I congratulate her on providing scrutiny in slightly difficult circumstances, particularly as I understand she did not inherit any notes.”’

 Last night she gave a speech in Leeds after she won the backing of the Fire Brigades Union to give her sufficient support to join Sir Keir Starmer and Lisa Nandy in the final round of the race.

The Salford and Eccles MP’s latest commitment makes her the most closely aligned with the outgoing leader, though she has sought to shake off the ‘continuity Corbyn’ label.

Her opponents, Sir Keir, Ms Nandy and Emily Thornberry, have all indicated they would take more limited approaches to nationalisation.

In a pitch to the party’s left at a rally in Leeds, Ms Long-Bailey said she would ‘never give up’ Labour’s commitment to public ownership.

‘I want to be clear that I am fully committed to the pledges in our manifesto last year for public ownership of energy, water, rail and mail,’ she said.

‘Other candidates say they agree with the transformative programme, but now I’m calling for specific, concrete commitments you can trust.

‘Public ownership of key utilities is the foundation for a more fair and equal society, and any candidate for Labour leader should endorse them without hesitation.

‘Under my leadership Labour will stand up to the rip off privatisers, and bring wealth and power back into public hands.’

Ms Thornberry and Ms Nandy have both backed re-nationalising rail and mail, but stopped short of returning energy into public ownership.

Sir Keir has so far only committed to bringing back rail into public ownership, but is expected to revisit the issue later in the campaign.

‘Keir supports expanding common ownership, whether by outright nationalisation or by other forms such as municipals, community organisations or co-operatives: all of which mean services are run for the public, not for shareholders,’ a spokesman said.

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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