‘Have death wish?’ Long-Bailey skewered as BBC host exposes staggering Labour stubbornness
Rebecca Long-Bailey is considered to be the continuity candidate in the Labour leadership challenge Jeremy Corbyn triggered after announcing his resignation in December. The Labour Party suffered three electoral defeats under Mr Corbyn’s leadership, a result equally blamed on his longtime unclear position on Brexit as well as his socio-economic reform proposals. But with Ms Long-Bailey appearing to be on the verge of steaming ahead on the same path of her mentor, BBC News host Katie Razzall asked: “You candidates are all sounding pretty similar in terms of spending plans.
“One of your MPs, Wes Streeting, said, ‘if the definition of insanity is doing the same thing twice expecting a different result, what do we call a third time? A death wish.’
“Do you have a death wish?”
The Labour Party came under fire during the election campaign because of its proposed reforms to the tax systems aimed at the highest-earners in the country to fund moe public services.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies said Mr Corbyn’s pledges were unrealistic and there were substantial “risks” with both the proposed spending increases and the proposed tax rises.
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But Ms Long-Bailey appeared committed to delivering on the pledges Mr Corbyn set out in his last manifesto: “Tax pays for our public services and our public services deliver our future.
“They help us realise our aspirations whether that’s good health, good education, good infrastructure that leads to improvement in productivity. We should never be afraid of making the case for a fair taxation system.
“We’ve seen what happened when the government slashed taxes for the most wealthy in society, they slashed corporation tax.”
She added: “I’m quite happy with the 45p tax rate for those earning over £80,000 and a 50p tax rate for over £125,000.
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“The question we should be asking candidates now is, do we support those two proposals going into a general election?”
Labour leadership candidates have until Friday, February 14 to secure the support of at least three unions or at least five percent of constituency parties to ensure their name is on the final ballot box.
Ms Long-Bailey snatched the backing of Unite the Union and train drivers’ union ASLEF, making sure she faces off Sir Keir Starmer and Wigan MP Lisa Nandy in the battle for the leadership.
Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry, also a candidate in the contest, is believed not to have won over enough support and is likely to crash our of the race on Friday.
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Jeremy Corbyn was forced to announce his resignation after the Labour Party took a severe hit at the last general election in December.
Labour lost 60 seats across the UK, including some historic seats in traditionally Labour areas that turned to the Conservative Party for the first time in decades.
A report into Labour’s humiliating election defeat, the worst since 1935, by Corbynista MPs Andrew Gwynne and Ian Lavery, exonerated the leader last month.
But Lord Ashcroft’s report lays bare the feelings over voters about Mr Corbyn’s leadership.
They raised concerns about his record on defence and national security, his links to Hezbollah and the IRA and lack of patriotism and his scruffy appearance.
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