‘That’s b******s’: Rebecca Long-Bailey says Jeremy Corbyn’s catastrophic election defeat does not mean voters rejected socialism but admits the result left her ‘in a state of shock’ because she was convinced ‘everyone loved the Labour party’
- Long-Bailey said she had been left in a ‘state of shock’ by December 12 defeat
- Labour handed Boris Johnson an 80-seat Tory majority amid Brexit meltdown
- Told event she worried socialism was ‘invalidated’, but added ‘that’s b******’
The leading left-wing candidate to replace Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader insisted that it was ‘b******s’ to suggest British voters did not want socialism – despite the party’s election humiliation, it was revealed today.
Rebecca Long-Bailey told an event at the weekend she had been left in a ‘state of shock’ by the scale of their defeat on December 12, when Labour handed Boris Johnson an 80-seat Tory majority.
At a dinner for retired Blyth Valley MP Ronnie Campbell on Saturday she said she had been convinced that at worst the election would result in a hung Parliament – as it did in 2017 – and Labour could in fact have won.
She said she had been dumbfounded because ‘everybody loved the Labour Party’ in the ‘people’s republic of Salford’ – a reference to her Greater Manchester constituency.
‘I was in a state of shock and it was as if everything I believed [was] being ripped up before my very eyes, that everything we fought and we’re so proud of was suddenly invalidated, [that] no-one wanted us, no-one wanted socialism,’ she said in a recording leaked to the Huffington Post website.
‘And then I pushed that thought out of my head because I thought ”that’s b******s”.’
Rebecca Long-Bailey said she had been left in a ‘state of shock’ by the scale of their defeat on December 12, when Labour handed Boris Johnson an 80-seat Tory majority
At the same event Jeremy Corbyn seemingly backed Ms Long-Bailey as his successor by hailing her as ‘our candidate’
Jeremy Corbyn led Labour to its worst election defeat since the 1930s in December, a humiliation by Boris Johnson that led to the Labour leader announcing he was to step down.
Community union backs Starmer with call for Labour to rebuild as ‘a party of Government’
The Community trade union today became the latest to endorsed Sir Keir Starmer for the Labour Party leadership.
The centre-left organisation joined Unison and Usdaw in backing the shadow Brexit secretary to replace Jeremy Corbyn.
The union also backed education secretary Angela Rayner for the deputy leadership post.
Community’s general secretary, Roy Rickhuss, said: ‘This year marks a decade of the Conservatives in Downing Street. This comes from a run of four devastating general election defeats, where life-long Labour communities, across our industrial working class heartlands, have turned away from the Labour Party.
‘It is clear Labour has to rebuild itself as not only the party for working people, but as a party of Government that looks to our country’s future.’
Ms Long-Bailey is the leading left-wing candidate to replace him, but she faces tough competition from current favourite Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary, and outsider Lisa Nandy.
The winner will be announced on April 4.
At the same Saturday event Jeremy Corbyn seemingly backed Ms Long-Bailey as his successor by hailing her as ‘our candidate’.
The outgoing Labour leader delivered the apparent endorsement at the retirement party.
It is more evidence that Ms Long-Bailey is the Left’s favoured option to replace Mr Corbyn in the contest, due to finish in April.
Unite chief Len McCluskey, a close Corbyn ally, heaped praise on Ms Long-Bailey over the weekend after his union supported her.
According to The Times, Mr Corbyn gave a glimpse of his own views at the event on Saturday night.
After paying tribute to Mr Campbell, a fellow member of the left-wing Labour Campaign Group, he reportedly said: ‘It’s an absolute pleasure to be here alongside Becky Long-Bailey, our candidate for leader.
‘I’ve known Becky since she came in to parliament and we’ve worked very well together. She has done the most to develop our trade union policies.’
In a swipe at other contenders, he added that Ms Long-Bailey had been ‘steadfast’ during the failed coup by Labour MPs in 2016.