John McDonnell appeared to admit his supported candidate to take over from Jeremy Corbyn at the helm of the Labour Party, Rebecca Long-Bailey, would not win the contest. Confronted with the latest survey showing shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer leading in the first ballot, Mr McDonnell conceded the nominations Sir Keir received from Constituency Labour Parties (CLPs) signalled the strong “support” he secured. Speaking to Sky News, the shadow Chancellor said: “Members will make their decision.
“We’ll see what comes out in the final vote. Keir got the most CLP nominations, that’s usually a reflection of the support.
“But we’ll see there’s a few weeks to go yet.”
A Sky News survey of 1,323 Labour Party members and other eligible voters found 53 percent of respondents would give their first preference vote to Keir Starmer in contrast to only 31 percent backing Rebecca Long-Bailey. The poll, conducted between February 20 and 25, also found 16 percent of those polled would vote for Wigan MP Lisa Nandy.
Mr McDonnell continued: “Nothing’s gone wrong. Anyone of those candidates would make a good leader of the Labour Party, that’s what’s great.
JUST IN: Leaked EU crisis plot exposes why Brussels and Merkel fear no deal Brexit MORE than Boris
McDonnell appeared to suggest Long-Bailey could lose to Starmer
McDonnell bemoaned the length of the contest so far
“This is the new generation. I think this is one of the best teams you’ll see going into politics now.”
He added: “I still hope Rebecca wins. I think there’s a good chance she will, we still have a long way to go in the election campaign.”
“It’s becoming a bit interminable, I have to say. It’s been going on for quite a bit.”
Rebecca Long-Bailey has been serving as the MP for Salford and Eccles since 2015 and has built a reputation as a strong supporter of Jeremy Corbyn.
Political experts have suggested Ms Long-Bailey is effectively running as a continuity candidate due to her manifesto picking up many of the policies Mr Corbyn ran on in December’s election.
READ MORE: Labour leadership contest: Tory MP reveals shocking choice for party’s best next leader
A new poll showed Labour leadership candidate Keir Starmer in the lead
But she strongly denied being the “continuity Corbyn” candidate, telling the BBC: “I’m very much my own person. To suggest I’m a continuation of any other individual is quite disrespectful. Not least because I’m a woman.”
Ms Long-Bailey also continuously dismissed claims suggesting Labour’s loss at the general election in December was to blame on Jeremy Corbyn.
Asked about Mr Corbyn’s performance during his leadership of the party in the past, Ms Long-Bailey gave Jeremy Corbyn a 10 out of 10 rating – a comment that sparked condemnation due to his election defeat.
And on whether she takes responsibility for the defeat Ms Long-Bailey told the BBC: “I do, and certainly I feel upset that we didn’t sell many of the policies in the way that I would have hoped.”
‘It was one of your policies!’ Rebecca Long-Bailey squirms in debate [VIDEO]
Andrew Marr shuts down ‘out of touch’ Angela Rayner over Labour policy [INTERVIEW]
Rebecca Long-Bailey ally sparks furious transphobia row with professor [VIDEO]
Rebecca Long-Bailey denied being a continuity candidate
Labour leadership candidates remaining in the race
On Labour’s catastrophic general election 2019 result, she said: “We got things wrong. Our message on Brexit. We lost trust in a whole range of other issues.
“Anti-Semitism. Divisions in the party. And in terms of the manifesto itself, despite having some great policies, we didn’t have a message that drew them all together around aspiration. And often the campaign was quite chaotic.”
The Labour leadership contest ballot opened this week meaning that any Labour Party member, affiliated trade union and socialist society who joined before January 20 will be eligible to vote.
Votes are cast on a one member one vote basis and they fill in a preferential ballot meaning they rank the contenders in order of preference.
The ballot closes on April 2 and if one person wins 50 percent or more, they become the outright winner.
The names of the new leader and deputy leader will be announced on April 4 at a special conference.