Rebecca Long-Bailey throws her hat into Labour leadership ring
Although the public at large will be grateful for the hiatus in political reporting during the festive period, after one of the most turbulent times in the UK’s political history, there is no surprise that having suffered their worst defeat since 1935, and having lost four general elections in a row, the defeated Labour benches are about to re-group.
Of course the defeat of any army hangs on the general’s shoulders and Jeremy Corbyn is preparing to stand down in the coming weeks to enable a new figure to take the helm of his beloved party.
However, after much navel-gazing, and research, it seems that in many cases Corbyn was at the core of Labour’s unpopularity with the electorate.
Subsequently, therein lies the problem for the opposition when choosing a new leader.
Many Labour grandees had warned that Corbyn’s election would put the party into the political wilderness for a generation, but the membership who voted for their helmsman were undeterred. Unlike the Tories, who rely on their MPs to choose their leader, the Labour members are in control of this and Corbyn had built a fierce and enthusiastic following.
However, Corbynism it appears was not a saleable or seductive enough concept at the polls and whoever takes his place will not only have to be mindful of this but also mindful of how to court the membership.
Unsurprisingly, while not decisively putting her name forward, Rebecca Long-Bailey, the Shadow Business Secretary, a close ally of Corbyn has written an article in The Guardian today with her election post-mortem and every suggesting that she will put her name forward to become leader of the party.
She insists that it was the fault of Labour’s compromise on Brexit, not its domestic policies that lead to its downfall with its grassroots supporters.
The party will be mindful of the fact, that unlike their rivals, they have never had a female leader which will work in Long-Bailey’s favour, but she will have to stand against Emly Thornberry who has already declared her intention to run and has not been as closely allied to Corbyn.
There is no doubt that Labour has been shaken by its defeat and will be looking for radical changes at the top over the next five years to take on Boris at the ballot box next time.
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