Labour leadership candidate Rebecca Long-Bailey: I think I’m going to win

Rebecca Long-Bailey has backed herself to win the Labour leadership race despite receiving half the constituency party nominations of her main rival.

The shadow business secretary said she is “not concerned” at having won the support of around 138 Constituency Labour parties (CLPs) compared with 312 for Sir Keir Starmer.

She said the nomination meetings represent a “tiny proportion” of Labour’s membership because “a lot of people don’t go to their (CLP) meetings”.

“You might get 50 to 100 people at a meeting if you’re lucky, some constituencies more. But, to give Salford as an example, we had about 100 people come to our nomination meeting. We’ve got nearly 2,000 members, who potentially are all going to vote,” she told HuffPost UK.

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(PA Graphics)

“So a lot of people that you’re trying to reach won’t be active party members. They’ll be political, but they won’t be directly involved in your party locally. I think I’m going to win. Obviously.”

The two other contenders – Wigan MP Lisa Nandy and shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry – have received 59 and 23 CLP nominations respectively.

Ms Thornberry is the only one of the four candidates vying to replace Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader who has yet to secure a place on the ballot paper.

Ms Long-Bailey also committed to keep Mr Corbyn’s pledges on taxing the rich.

She said: “It’s important to make sure that you’ve got a tax base that’s capable of being able to deliver the investment that (public) services need, and it’s not unfair to expect that those with the broad shoulders should pay more.

“By using that tax and taxing fairly that’s reinvested, but it also ensures that those people who are on a 45p or 50p tax rate, they’ll do better in the future, because we’ll have a better functioning economy… There’s no plan to deviate from those tax rates at the moment.”

Her comments came after Sir Keir pledged to uphold Labour’s commitment to abolish tuition fees – saying Labour must stand by its plan to “end the national scandal of spiralling student debt”.

Mr Corbyn’s successor will be announced on April 4.

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