Rebecca Long-Bailey would offer Jeremy Corbyn a place in her shadow Cabinet
Rebecca Long-Bailey said she would offer Jeremy Corbyn a place in her shadow Cabinet if she takes over from him as leader.
The shadow business secretary, who has been labelled the “continuity” candidate in the race, said she would do it because “I love him so”.
It comes after Richard Burgon, who is standing to be Labour’s deputy, said Mr Corbyn still had a “valuable role” to play despite leading the party to to its worst election result for 80 years.
He even suggested the outgoing leader could stay on the frontbencher as shadow foreign secretary.
Ms Long-Bailey is said to have told supporters in London earlier this month she would hand Mr Corbyn a high-level brief if she can defeat Keir Starmer and Lisa Nandy to the top job.
She said: “I’d like to but I don’t know whether he wants to do it because he said not.”
The Salford and Eccles MP added: “It’s up to him. I love him so.”
Mr Burgon also said over the weekend Mr Corbyn could continue to play a “valuable role” on Labour’s front bench, saying: “If he was Shadow Foreign Secretary, that would be ideal.”
He called the Labour leader a “friend and a comrade”, adding: "I’ve never met a more principled, less egotistical person than Jeremy Corbyn.
"Plenty of his critics are not fit to lace his boots."
But Miss Long-Bailey, who has been publicly backed by John McDonnell and Jon Lansman, the founder of the pro-Corbyn Momentum group, said she found it insulting being called the “continuity Corbyn” candidate.
Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show she said: "Jeremy and I are friends but it’s quite disrespectful when I’m termed the continuity candidate.
"I’ve always been strong in my principles, people know what I believe in.
"To suggest I’m a continuation of any individual is disrespectful, not least because I am a woman."