LABOUR leadership hopeful Rebecca Long Bailey has rated Jeremy Corbyn ‘ten out of ten’ — but insisted she was not the ‘continuity candidate’.
The shadow business secretary said Labour had not been not trusted on Brexit, tackling anti-Semitism or its policy platform as she acknowledged the failings that led to the party’s disastrous result in the General Election.
But she said that Mr Corbyn had been ‘savaged from day one by the press’ as she praised his leadership and character.
She told ITV News: ‘I thought Corbyn was one of the most honest, kind, principled politicians I’ve ever met.
‘I’d give him ten out of ten, because I respect him and I supported him all the way through.’
Earlier, in a break from Mr Corbyn, she signalled she would be prepared to press the nuclear button if she became prime minister.
‘If you have a deterrent, you have to be prepared to use it,’ she said, but stressed she was ‘not going to be a warmonger’. Last night, shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer told Labour MPs and peers at the first leadership hustings that the party needed to ‘win back our heartlands’ but said ‘we have got a mountain to climb’.
Emily Thornberry and Clive Lewis are also running to succeed Mr Corbyn, along with backbenchers Jess Phillips and Lisa Nandy, who told the hustings: ‘Now is not the time to steady the ship. If we do not change course, we will die and we will deserve to.’ The new leader will be announced on April 4.
Brexit bill goes back before the Commons
BREXIT secretary Steve Barclay yesterday opened three days of debate on the EU Withdrawal Bill by telling MPs it would ‘set the stage for our bright future outside of the European Union’.
Mr Barclay said the bill provided ‘certainty and stablity’ during the transition period, expected to last from January 31 until the end of the year.
Labour MP Hilary Benn asked if he could assure the Commons that ‘there is no prospect whatsoever of the UK leaving without an agreement in December’. Mr Barclay said the government would stick to its manifesto commitment.