‘Nervous’ Long Bailey ‘unprepared’ for Labour leadership bid after ‘deluded’ interview

Yesterday the shadow business secretary, dubbed Labour’s “continuity” candidate, told ITV News’ Paul Brand she marked Jeremy Corbyn’s premiership as a “10 out of 10”. The Labour leadership hopeful was heavily mocked for the remark, with MPs from her own party even hurling criticism on Ms Long Bailey for heaping praise on Mr Corbyn after Labour’s worst election defeat since 1935. Now it has emerged Ms Long Bailey’s campaign team fear the comments have harmed her campaign, as one insider admitted the interview was “really bad”.

Speaking on BBC Newsnight last night political editor Nick Watt reported on “deep nerves” inside the Long Bailey camp.

He said that one close ally of the shadow business secretary claimed the uneasiness has been caused by three factors.

The first is that Ms Long Bailey was “unprepared” for the leadership bid, as she didn’t believe Mr Corbyn would do as badly as he did in the December 2019 general election and so didn’t think he would resign.

Secondly, the Labour frontbencher spent the Christmas break abroad as she had a “family commitment”.

Mr Watt said the source described the trip as “unhelpful”, presumably because it left with less time to prepare for her leadership bid.

The final hurdle was the “bad interview” with ITV News which aired yesterday afternoon.

He said: “Then to top it all, as one of her allies described to me a bad interview with ITN this afternoon when she gave Jeremy Corbyn 10 out of 10.”

But the source was adamant that despite the difficulties facing Ms Long Bailey, she “will win” the leadership contest.

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One Labour MP responded: “10 out of 10? How about minus 59: the number of MPs we lost?

“What an insult to millions of people who felt let down by Jeremy Corbyn.”

Similarly, Anna Turley, former Labour MP for Redcar, questioned how Mr Corbyn could receive such a high rating.

She wrote on Twitter: “I’m not sure leading the Labour Party to its worst defeat since the 1930s warrants a 10/10 but maybe I’m just a bit picky…”

Another social media user accused the leadership hopeful of being "utterly deluded", and wrote: "And this is why she should never be Labour leader, she is completely and utterly deluded."

Ms Long Bailey is one of six Labour MP’s vying for the top job.

The other leadership hopefuls include: shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer, Lisa Nandy, Jess Phillips, shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry, and Clive Lewis.

Sir Keir is the current frontrunner, with bookmakers William Hill and Ladbrokes penning him as the favourite.

William Hill place him on odds of 8/11, while Ladbrokes have him on odds of 4/5.

But with the winner not being announced until April 4, the leadership race is not set in stone - especially as previous Labour leaders, including Mr Corbyn and Ed Miliband, were not the favourites to win the contests. 

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