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By Bishop of Leeds
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Rebecca Long Bailey urges Momentum to back Angela Rayner as Labour deputy leader

2 min read

Labour leadership contender Rebecca Long Bailey has called on senior Momentum figures to back Angela Rayner as deputy – ahead of their preferred choice Richard Burgon.


 

Momentum’s coordinating committee is expected to meet today to decide which candidates it will support for leader and deputy of the party.

Long Bailey is thought to be the splinter group’s preferred choice of leader, with Corbynite favourite Mr Burgon in place as her deputy.

Mr Burgon is backed by Long Bailey’s longtime mentor, John McDonnell, as well as Corbyn loyalists such as Diane Abbott, Ian Lavery and Laura Pidcock.

But in a letter seen by the Guardian, Ms Long Bailey reportedly suggested Ms Rayner could have a broader reach across the party.

She wrote: “If there are people in our party who are more interested in beating the left than winning back power for Labour, we must ensure that we isolate them, not help them isolate us.”

It is understood longtime Corbyn allies doubt Ms Rayner’s left-wing credentials.

But Ms Long Bailey – her friend, flatmate and political ally – describes her as “another fantastic working-class woman”.

At the time of writing, Ms Rayner had comfortably passed the threshold of nominations from MPs and MEPs, putting her through to the next stage of the competition.

Meanwhile Mr Burgon, the MP for Leeds East, had 18 – just short of the 22 required.

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