Rebecca Long-Bailey challenges Labour leadership rivals to back mass nationalisations

Posted On: 
29th January 2020

Rebecca Long-Bailey has challenged her rivals in the Labour leadership race to back a wave of mass renationalisations of key industries.

Rebecca Long-Bailey has pledged to stick to Labour's policy of renationalisation.
Credit: 
PA Images

She said if she wins the race to succeed Jeremy Corbyn, the party will maintain its commitment to bringing energy, water, rail and mail back into public ownership.

Speaking at a campaign rally in Leeds, Ms Long-Bailey said Labour members "have a right to know" where all the leadership candidates stood on the issue.

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"Over the past five years we have reclaimed public ownership as a key principle of the Labour Party and under my leadership we will never give that up," she said.

"Our party’s long overdue return to policies calling for public ownership of essential services are not only consistently popular in opinion polls, they are the core of what Labour stands for.

"New models of democratic public ownership are essential to delivering modern, world leading and efficient services to everyone in our country."

Ms Long-Bailey - whose place in the final round of the leadership race was confirmed when she was endorsed by the Fire Brigades Union on Wednesday - added: "Members have a right to know exactly where candidates stand.

"I want to be clear that I am fully committed to the pledges in our manifesto last year for public ownership of energy, water, rail and mail. Other candidates say they agree with the transformative programme, but now I’m calling for specific, concrete commitments you can trust.

"Public ownership of key utilities is the foundation for a more fair and equal society, and any candidate for Labour leader should endorse them without hesitation."

Rejecting suggestions Labour's left-wing manifesto had contributed to the party's election defeat, she said: "Nobody voted Conservative because we pledged to bring the railways back into public hands, take on rip-off energy companies and fix our broken water systems.

"Under my leadership Labour will stand up to the rip off privatisers, and bring wealth and power back into public hands."

The Shadow Business Secretary has already pledged to introduce mandatory reselection for all Labour MPs if she wins the leadership contest.

Responding to Ms Long-Bailey's remarks, Lisa Nandy said: "It's common sense to bring the railways and post office back into public ownership, but that shouldn’t be the limit of our ambition.

"We should be thinking creatively about community ownership, co-ops and municipal energy companies - that’s how you genuinely empower people."