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Jeremy Corbyn supporters back Rebecca Long-Bailey for next Labour leader

Will Taylor
News Reporter
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's supporters are backing Rebecca Long-Bailey, right. (PA Images)

Jeremy Corbyn supporters have begun to rally around one of the front-runners for the Labour leadership.

Politicians and high-profile supporters of the outgoing party boss have been publicly promoting Rebecca Long-Bailey to replace the Mr Corbyn, who is due to step down early next year after last week’s election defeat.

Shadow business secretary Ms Long-Bailey is the bookies’ favourite for the job, ahead of Lisa Nandy, Keir Starmer and Jess Phillips.

John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, who is set to stand down from frontbench politics after Labour’s election disaster, described Ms Long-Bailey as “brilliant” on the Andrew Marr Show on Sunday.

Richard Burgon, the shadow justice secretary who describes himself as an admirer and friend of Mr Corbyn, told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge: “I’ve made no secret of the fact I would like to see Rebecca Long-Bailey as the leader of the Labour Party, but that’s a decision for her to make.

“I think she understands northern Leave seats, she’s had experience in the shadow cabinet... and I think she’s somebody who could really help us to win back those votes that we lost.”

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is to step down. (PA Images)

Ms Long-Bailey has represented Salford and Eccles since 2015 and won it with 57% of the vote last week.

She is reportedly interested in becoming leader with shadow education secretary Angela Rayner eyeing the deputy leader spot.

Support for Ms Long-Bailey is not restricted to Labour’s politicians, with Corbyn supporters on Twitter also backing her.

Left-wing news website Evolve Politics, which supports Jeremy Corbyn, came out in support of a joint Long-Bailey/Rayner ticket.

Aaron Bastani, a vocal backer of Jeremy Corbyn who co-founded Corbyn-supporting Novara Media, said the duo would be a “very strong ticket”.

Jeremy Corbyn does not have a firm leaving date yet but he has pledged to stand down.

The next Labour leader will need to receive initial backing from 10% of the party’s MPs and MEPs, 5% of constituency Labour parties and at least three party affiliates, including two trade unions.

A date for the election has not been set yet.

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