‘The Next AOC?’ – Rebecca Long-Bailey

thirty-four quotes by and about
Rebecca Long-Bailey
born 1979
Labour MP for Salford & Eccles, 2015–
shadow secretary for business, 2017–

‘Becky (as John McDonnell approvingly calls her) holds a key brief — vital to the unions and economic strategy. The daughter of a docker, she worked in a pawn shop and other dead-end jobs before studying to be a solicitor. A die-hard Corbynista, she is being talked up as the chosen heir to his bicycle clips.’ – Evening Standard (2017) [i]

‘I was born in Old Trafford to Irish parents and grew up locally. My dad, Jimmy, worked on the Salford Docks and I grew up watching him worrying when round after round of redundancies were inflicted on the docks. He was forced to witness his friends empty lockers into bin liners after decades of service, never sure when the axe was going to fall on him.’ – Rebecca Long-Bailey (2014) [ii]

‘After graduating I set my mind to becoming a solicitor so that I could stand up for the vulnerable and disadvantaged.’ – Rebecca Long-Bailey (2014) [iii]

‘In her day job as a solicitor, Ms Long-Bailey specialises in NHS contracts and NHS estates so may take a particular interest in health policy when she enters the Commons.’ – Telegraph (2015) [iv]

‘Militants have been accused of trying to install union chief Len McCluskey’s choice in a safe Labour seat. Rebecca Long-Bailey is odds-on to win the party’s nomination in Salford and Eccles after her big rival was dumped. Critics say she was “parachuted” in after missing out in a nearby constituency.’ – Sun (2014) [v]

‘One bookie is offering odds of 1/100 for her to win Hazel Blears’ old seat for Labour … Cynics say a turnip in a red rosette could win the seat.’ – Manchester Evening News (2015) [vi]

‘I wouldn’t be so arrogant as to be confident. People are losing faith in politics. There is a hope void for people in danger of falling into poverty. Labour has to ensure it is the party that brings hope.’ – Rebecca Long-Bailey (2014) [vii]

‘I will use my position as Salford and Eccles’ voice in Westminster to persuade and influence policy making.’ – Rebecca Long-Bailey (2014) [viii]

‘We need a new leader who looks forward and will challenge an agenda of cuts, take on big business and will set out an alternative to austerity – not one which will draw back to the New Labour creed of the past.’ – letter signed by ten new MPs, including Rebecca Long-Bailey (2015) [ix]

‘Mayoral hopeful David Lammy added his name to [Jeremy] Corbyn’s list of backers this morning, along with Salford MP Rebecca Long-Bailey and Ogmore MP Huw Irranca-Davies.’ – Daily Mirror (2015) [x]

‘We can’t go on with this type of society. This isn’t civilisation.’ – Rebecca Long-Bailey, on the growing numbers of rough sleepers (2016) [xi]

‘Our main conversation comes down to what we’re going to have for tea.’ – Rebecca Long-Bailey, on flat-sharing with Angela Rayner (2018) [xii]

‘I believe that we can win. I do think we have a popular manifesto that will transform the country, from banning zero-hour contracts to bringing utilities back into public ownership and driving energy bills down. There’s a real agenda for hope here that people can really get behind.’ – Rebecca Long-Bailey (2017) [xiii]

‘Rebecca Long Bailey, 37, was made shadow business secretary. She has been an MP for less than two years but has already emerged as a possible successor to Mr Corbyn after a spell as Mr McDonnell’s deputy in the shadow Treasury team.’ – The Times (2017) [xiv]

‘Rebecca Long-Bailey, whose elevation to high rank within the Labour Party owes everything to not even the first but the second wave of mass shadow cabinet resignations…’ – Tom Peck, Independent (2019) [xv]

‘Labour’s shadow business secretary has said she doesn’t use Uber because she thinks it is “not morally acceptable”. Rebecca Long-Bailey called on the car- hailing company to “reform their practices” and accused them of “exploiting their workers”.’ – Telegraph (2017) [xvi]

‘We are standing on the precipice of the fourth industrial revolution, a pace of change so immense it will leave you feeling dizzy.’ – Rebecca Long-Bailey at the Labour conference (2017) [xvii]

On Andrew Marr’s show Baroness Chakrabarti of Kennington ‘said it’s hard for Debbie Abrahams, Angela Rayner and Rebecca Long-Bailey to get on the telly. She said: “A lot of the women, actually, because it’s now a very female shadow cabinet. It’d be nice sometimes to hear those voices heard, including on your programme.” At the end of the interview, Marr pointed out Rebecca Long-Bailey has been invited on the programme, but “so far has not been able to come”.’ – Daily Mirror (2017) [xviii]

Andrew Neil: ‘The draft manifesto said you will leave debt as a proportion of trend GDP lower at the end of each parliament, you have just said a version of that. What’s trend GDP?’
Rebecca Long-Bailey: ‘Well, as we’ve said in clear terms we will ensure that the debt we acquire will be reduced by the end of the parliament. We won’t leave the government finances in a worse state than we found them.’
Andrew Neil: ‘Okay, but what is trend GDP?’
Rebecca Long-Bailey: ‘Well, as I’ve said, and I’ll explain it in clear terms, our rule is we will ensure public sector net debt is less than we found it when we came to power in government on June the 8th.’ – Sunday Politics (2017) [xix]

‘Bad Day: Frontbencher Rebecca Long-Bailey’s flat-footed platform performance failed to justify claims she could succeed Jeremy Corbyn as party leader.’ – Daily Mirror (2017) [xx]

‘One of the themes of this conference has been that a year is a long time in politics. In Rebecca’s hands, five minutes can feel even longer.’ – John Crace, Guardian (2017) [xxi]


‘Rebecca Long-Bailey, the shadow business secretary, pointed out that if there were a snap General Election, a commitment to having another EU poll would not be in the Labour manifesto.’ – Herald (2018) [xxii]

‘I think our position certainly hasn’t moved dramatically from respecting the referendum and wanting to exhaust all of the possibilities that are available to us. But equally I think we’ve got a duty to make sure that we don’t hurtle towards a no-deal Brexit.’ – Rebecca Long-Bailey (2019) [xxiii]

‘We haven’t ruled out a people’s vote, but our priority is securing a deal, but we also stated that we would keep all options on the table to avoid a damaging Tory Brexit and a no-deal Brexit.’ – Rebecca Long-Bailey (2019) [xxiv]

‘The move to online retail and the changing nature of the way we shop doesn’t need to mean empty high streets and job losses. It can mean a vibrant community space, with local independent shops, cafes and restaurants. But that will require governmental action to reinvigorate our high streets.’ – Rebecca Long-Bailey (2018) [xxv]

‘We acknowledge that the UK needs to do much more to meet the Paris agreement goal of limiting warming to 1.5°C. So today I state firmly that a Labour government will back a target for net zero emissions by 2050.’ – Rebecca Long-Bailey (2018) [xxvi]

‘The biggest thing government can do is support our own British industries and workers.’ – Rebecca Long-Bailey (2019) [xxvii]

‘Laura [Smith] is an absolutely amazing MP. She’s so full of energy and enthusiasm but we are certainly not advocating general strikes.’ – Rebecca Long-Bailey, after Smith called for a general strike to ‘topple this cruel and callous Tory government’ (2018) [xxviii]

‘The public appeal of two rising stars, Angela Rayner and Rebecca Long-Bailey, has been tested by a focus group as the hard left looks for potential successors to Corbyn … Long-Bailey, a former lawyer and the MP for Salford and Eccles, emerged as the most credible figure with voters describing her as “passionate”, “genuine”, “sincere” and “very smart”, although some saw her as “aggressive” and “rough”.’ – Sunday Times (2017) [xxix]

‘Seumas Milne and McDonnell would like it to be her, because they feel like they’d be able to control her more.’ – anonymous ‘senior Labour source’ on speculation that Rebecca Long-Bailey might succeed Jeremy Corbyn as leader (2017) [xxx]

‘Rebecca Long-Bailey: The Next AOC?’ – Evening Standard (2019) [xxxi]

‘When Rebecca Long Bailey stood in for Jeremy Corbyn at prime minister’s questions this month it was seen as the clearest sign yet that she was being groomed as heir apparent to the leader.’ – The Times (2019) [xxxii]

‘One Corbyn ally said [Karie] Murphy and Milne were terrified of a leadership contest. “They put Rebecca Long-Bailey up and she was dire,” said the source.’ – Sunday Times (2019) [xxxiii]

‘I think that it would be fantastic for the next Labour leader to be a woman.’ – Rebecca Long-Bailey (2019) [xxxiv]

see also:

[i] Evening Standard 19 October 2017

[ii] Manchester Evening News 20 June 2014

[iii] Manchester Evening News 2 August 2014

[iv] Telegraph web edition 29 April 2015

[v] Sun 2 August 2014

[vi] Manchester Evening News 1 May 2015

[vii] Manchester Evening News 4 October 2014

[viii] Manchester Evening News 4 August 2014

[ix] Guardian 15 May 2015

[x] Daily Mirror web edition 15 June 2015

[xi] Manchester Evening News 26 November 2016

[xii] Evening Standard 12 March 2018

[xiii] Guardian web edition 17 May 2017

[xiv] Times 10 February 2017

[xv] Independent 9 April 2019

[xvi] Telegraph web edition 11 July 2017

[xvii] i 27 September 2017

[xviii] Daily Mirror web edition 26 February 2017

[xix] Guardian web edition 14 March 2017

[xx] Daily Mirror 27 September 2017

[xxi] Guardian 26 September 2017

[xxii] Herald 27 September 2018

[xxiii] Guardian web edition 16 January 2019

[xxiv] Guardian web edition 13 March 2019

[xxv] Guardian web edition 25 September 2018

[xxvi] Guardian web edition 25 September 2018

[xxvii] Swindon Advertiser 30 March 2019

[xxviii] Today, Radio 4, 26 September 2018

[xxix] Sunday Times 12 February 2017

[xxx] Evening Standard 21 September 2017

[xxxi] Evening Standard 13 February 2019

[xxxii] Times 29 June 2019

[xxxiii] Sunday Times 29 September 2019

[xxxiv] Sunday Telegraph 13 October 2019

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