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Long-Bailey humiliated: Labour leadership candidate suffers major blow in campaign

REBECCA LONG-BAILEY has suffered a major setback in the Labour leadership contest after she was widely rejected by the Jewish Labour Movement (JLM).

This afternoon the JLM declared its support for Lisa Nandy in the race to succeed outgoing leader Jeremy Corbyn. The Wigan MP received 50.9 percent of the vote for the top job in a major boost for her campaign. Sir Keir Starmer, the Shadow Brexit Secretary, came second with 45.3 percent, with Emily Thornberry, the Shadow Foreign Secretary, a distant third with 1.7 percent.

Ms Long-Bailey, the Shadow Business Secretary, trailed in last place with just 1.4 percent of the vote.

National JLM chairman Mike Katz said: “Lisa Nandy understands that without a change in the culture of our party, our party might have no future.”

Labour’s handling of allegations of anti-Semitism has dominated the tenure of Mr Corbyn’s five year reign as leader.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is currently investigating complaints of anti-Semitism within the party.

The four Labour leadership candidates went head-to-head on BBC’s Newsnight on Thursday evening and the anti-Semitism crisis dominated the debate.

Ms Nandy took aim at her three rivals who served in the shadow cabinet and accused them of “remaining silent” on the issue.

The Wigan MP said: “We are not having an honest reckoning with how badly we have got this wrong and the collective role we have played in this.

“Leadership is about taking on issues when they are hard. Sitting in the shadow cabinet asking for reports, not seeing them, challenging and then remaining silent is not good enough.

“We have to be honest that far too many people in this party did not stand up and speak out when it counted.”

Ms Thornberry fired back and said the shadow cabinet did not have any control over the issue and said people should have been removed from the party more than two years ago.

She said: “We may be throwing people out of the party now for being anti-Semitic – and we are – but why didn’t we do it two and a half years ago? Why wasn’t the party dealing with it then? That’s the issue.

“And the shadow cabinet didn’t have any control over that, it was the National Executive Committee and the party.

“That’s why we were calling in the shadow cabinet, ‘Please come and report to us because you don’t seem to be able to deal with it’.”

Ms Long-Bailey, admitted the party did not “deal with the problem swiftly enough or robustly enough”.

She said: “What we have to do now is move on. We have to rebuild trust with our Jewish members and our Jewish community.

“We have to have a system that adopts any recommendations that are made by the EHRC, we have to have an independent legal process free from any perceived political bias.”

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir, outlining why anti-Semitism was his top priority, said: “Until we can demonstrate that anyone anti-Semitic is out of our party, we will not be able to persuade people we can win an election.”

Nominations for the leadership race are set to close at midnight on Friday, with Sir Keir, Ms Long-Bailey and Ms Nandy already confirmed in the final ballot.

Ms Thornberry remains short of the 33 constituency Labour Party (CLP) nominations required to progress.

The next Labour leader will be announced on April 4.

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