Rebecca Long-Bailey MP, the current shadow business secretary and a practising Catholic, has become the sixth candidate to enter Labour’s leadership contest in Briton.
Long-Bailey struck a strongly left-wing note in her article that announced her campaign, pledging to rebuild Labour “as an insurgent force.” Linking constitutional reform with left-wing economic policy, she argued that her party must “go to war with the political establishment,” positioning herself clearly to the left of her competitors in the contest.
The former solicitor and one-time pawn shop employee has referenced her faith publicly on several occasions.
A graduate of The Catholic High School, Chester, Long-Bailey was elected to parliament in the 2015 election for the Salford and Eccles Constituency. A close ally of the outgoing labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, she was one of 36 MPs to nominate him in his 2015 leadership bid. She afterwards served in the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Minister for the Treasury and Shadow Secretary of State for Business. A mother of one, Long-Bailey sends her child to a Catholic school, and is a supporter of Catholic education. If victorious in the leadership contest, she would become only the second Catholic Leader of the Opposition in British history, the first being Iain Duncan Smith, who led the Conservatives from 2001 to 2003.
In an interview at Salford Cathedral for the 2019 Election, General Election, Long-Bailey cited her Catholic faith as a major inspiration: “The teachings I have based my life around drive the work I do every day and the policies I help to create as a politician.”