Rebecca Long-Bailey hinted she would want to hold another Labour leadership election before Britons go to the polls in 2024. BBC’s Andrew Neil asked: “You would want to move to a system of mandatory re-selection for Labour MPs, they would need to reapply for their jobs before another election, other people could stand against them if they wanted to. If that’s good enough for MPs, why not Labour leaders too? If you win this election would you submit yourself again to the membership before a general election?”
Speaking on BBC’s Andrew Neil show, Ms Long-Bailey said: “I don’t think that’s a bad idea.
“I think it would be quite disruptive potentially to do that in the month’s before a general election but I certainly like your way of thinking.
“When we have the general election after that if we don’t win the general election we will have another Labour leadership election.
“Hopefully we don’t and hopefully I’ll be Prime Minister but I will be going through my own selection process within my constituency whether I’m a leader of not.”
During the show, Ms Long-Bailey was torn apart by the BBC host as she defended Labour’s general election manifesto.
Mr Neil compared the Salford and Eccles MP to Jeremy Corbyn and accused her of being a ‘continuity Corbyn’ candidate.
She said: “I’m certainly not a continuation of Jeremy Corbyn or indeed any other member of the Shadow Cabinet.”
But the BBC host added: “You wouldn’t drop a single policy from Labour’s election manifesto, you would just package it differently.
“What you’re telling BBC viewers tonight is you would take the same old Corbyn chocolate bar and just give it a different wrapper.”
Ms Long-Bailey defended the accusation as she said: “It’s not the same old chocolate Corbyn bar.
“This is what the Labour Party fundamentally believes. Why are we here? What is the Labour Party for? It’s for bettering people’s lives.”
The Shadow Business Secretary admitted regretting not directly challenging a member at a recent event in Liverpool who claimed “members of the Israeli lobby” including Jewish Labour MP Dame Margaret Hodge had the greatest responsibility for preventing Mr Corbyn from becoming prime minister.
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She said: “In my response I thought at the time that I had been implicit in explaining why this particular gentleman was wrong but with retrospect I should’ve called that out directly because it was anti-Semitic.
“I should have challenged that specific element of that gentleman’s contribution directly and I wish I had done that because it was an anti-Semitic statement to make.”
The final leadership contender, Lisa Nandy, subjected herself to Mr Neil’s scrutiny in January.
Members and supporters began receiving ballots on February 24. Voting closes two days before the new leader is announced on April 4.
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