Rising Corbynite star Rebecca Long-Bailey gets shadow business job
Team Corbyn are said to view the MP for Salford and Eccles as a leader-in-waiting.
Jeremy Corbyn has plugged the gaps in his shadow cabinet by handing out jobs to three low profile MPs – and the new star of the Corbynite left.
Rebecca Long-Bailey takes over from Clive Lewis as shadow business secretary.
Previously shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, the MP for Salford and Eccles has emerged in recent weeks as Team Corbyn’s favourite MP.
"They are really pushing her - it looks like she is now Jeremy's chosen successor” said one party insider recently.
In particular, shadow chancellor John McDonnell is said to be a “huge fan” of Long-Bailey.
Long-Bailey was one of 36 Labour MPs to nominate Corbyn as a candidate in the 2015 Labour leadership election. The former solicitor also set out her socialist credentials in her maiden speech in 2015.
She said: “We were told that free market globalisation of industry would eventually see wealth trickle down from the top. We are still waiting…. My constituency and its people have a proud socialist history. I intend to use my time in the House to fight for them to have a proud socialist future as well.”
However opponents of Corbyn’s leadership prefer to point to an interview that Long-Bailey did with BBC presenter Andrew Neil last year as evidence that she is not leadership material quite yet.
Corbyn has also announced that Sue Hayman will replace Rachael Maskell as shadow environment secretary and Christina Rees will replace Jo Stevens as shadow Welsh secretary.
In addition, Peter Dowd will fill Long-Bailey’s position as shadow chief secretary to the Treasury. Meanwhile Jon Trickett, usually regarded as a Corbyn ally, is reportedly being stripped of his role overseeing election campaigning.
The Labour leader was forced into his latest reshuffle after four front benchers – Lewis, Rachael Maskell, Dawn Butler and Tulip Siddiq – all resigned over his three line whip on the Brexit bill. Corbyn still has to fill several junior positions vacated by MPs who defied the order.
Announcing his new-look team, Corbyn said: “I’m pleased to announce appointments to Labour’s shadow cabinet. We have a wealth of talent in our party and the strength of our shadow team will develop Labour’s alternative plan to rebuild and transform Britain, so that no one and no community is left behind.”
But one Labour MP responded: "I've just had to Google two of our latest appointments to the shadow cabinet."