Labour MPs have accused party chairman Ian Lavery of floating a leadership bid in an attempt to paint Rebecca Long-Bailey as a softer candidate and ‘not a far left choice’ to replace Jeremy Corbyn. Shadow business secretary Ms Long-Bailey ended weeks of speculation as she said she is ‘considering standing’ as she also formally backed Angela Rayner to be deputy leader. Meanwhile, a spokesman for Mr Lavery said he is ‘seriously considering’ his own leadership bid. Both Ms Long-Bailey and Mr Lavery are keen supporters of Mr Corbyn and come from the left of the party but the latter is seen as even more radical than his shadow cabinet colleague. Some Labour MPs are therefore convinced that the suggestion Mr Lavery could stand in the contest is nothing more than an attempt to bolster Ms Long-Bailey’s hopes of victory. She is viewed by senior party figures as the hard-left’s best chance of carrying on with the so-called Corbynism project. Responding to Mr Lavery’s potential candidacy, Labour MP Toby Perkins tweeted: ‘Don’t be fooled by this. It’s purely an attempt to convince us all that RLB is not a far left choice. He won’t really stand, she will.’ Mr Corbyn will… Read full this story
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