Rebecca Long-Bailey has confirmed she is considering running to replace Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party, promising to champion “progressive patriotism” at the helm.
The shadow business secretary blamed the party’s “compromise solution” to Brexit and a lack of trust among voters for its devastating defeat in this month’s general election.
Labour saw its worst result since 1935 after the poll on December 12. It lost 59 seats, taking its total down to 203 and took just 32.2 per cent of the vote share.
But Ms Long-Bailey insisted that the party’s policies were popular.
“We didn't lose because of our commitment to scrap universal credit, invest in public services or abolish tuition fees,” she wrote in the Guardian.
She claimed Labour “can win again” but said the party must first unite.
“We are strongest when we stand together as a pluralist Labour family. That is why I'm not only considering standing to be leader, but also supporting Angela Rayner as deputy,” she wrote.
The Salford and Eccles MP added that she wants to “use all our party’s talents” to “fight the Conservatives at every corner and map Labour’s route back to power”.
Ms Long-Bailey is widely viewed to be the favourite among supporters of her predecessor and despite not having formally declared her candidacy, is seen as a frontrunner in the contest.
Her main rivals are expected to include shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer and Wigan MP Lisa Nandy.
Shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry and shadow Treasury minister Clive Lewis are the only two to have officially declared their candidacy.
The race to replace Mr Corbyn is expected to begin on January 7.
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