UK Politics

Labour leadership contenders: Rebecca Long-Bailey

Rebecca Long-Bailey Image copyright PA Media

Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey is one of five MPs running to be the leader of the Labour Party.

The MP for Salford and Eccles has the support of many in Jeremy Corbyn's inner circle.

So what do we know about her?

Who will be Labour's next leader?

Personal life

Mrs Long-Bailey was born in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, in 1979. Her father was a former docker, and she has often spoken about how his experiences influenced her politics.

She started work in a pawn shop and also worked in call centres, a furniture factory and the post service.

Mrs Long-Bailey studied politics and sociology at Manchester Metropolitan University, and later studied law via part-time courses.

Her husband Stephen works for a chemicals company and they have a six-year-old son.

Before Parliament

Mrs Long-Bailey worked for a law firm - specialising in landlord and tenant cases - before becoming a solicitor in 2007.

She then specialised in commercial law, commercial property and NHS contracts.

In Parliament

Mrs Long-Bailey was selected to be Labour's 2015 election candidate for Salford and Eccles from an all-women shortlist, after the incumbent Hazel Blears stood down.

She won the backing of the union, Unite, and Salford's mayor, and went on to win the seat with a majority of nearly 13,000 and a vote share of 49.4%.

Mrs Long-Bailey was one of 36 Labour MPs to nominate Jeremy Corbyn for the party's leadership in 2015. When he won the contest, she was made shadow Treasury minister and has remained a key figure in his frontbench team.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Mrs Long Bailey is close to John McDonnell and has worked closely with him

In 2016, she was made shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, and in 2017 was promoted to shadow business secretary.

At the 2017 and 2019 elections, Mrs Long-Bailey was re-elected with 65.5% and 56.8% of the vote respectively.

Leadership bid

Mrs Long-Bailey was the sixth and last candidate to enter the race to replace Jeremy Corbyn,

In an article for Tribune magazine, she said Labour needed a "socialist leader who can work with our movement, rebuild our communities and fight for the policies we believe in".

Her candidacy is backed by shadow chancellor John McDonnell, as well as deputy leadership contender Angela Rayner, with whom Mrs Long-Bailey shares a flat.

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Media captionRebecca Long-Bailey reiterates her support for Mr Corbyn

But those who blame Mr Corbyn for Labour's election defeat have accused her of being too similar to the current leader. In an interview with ITV, she gave him "10 out of 10" when asked to rate his leadership.

However, she has also said Labour has a "mountain to climb" to get back to power. She added that Labour's defeat was due to a failure of campaign strategy and the "lack of a coherent narrative", rather than a rejection of its policies.

If elected leader, she said there would be no return to a "Tory lite" agenda, which she said had held the party back for many years.

On Brexit, Mrs Long-Bailey said Labour should have focused on getting a "good deal" to leave rather than arguing for another referendum.

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