Rebecca Long-Bailey, born 22 September 1979, has been named as a potential successor to Jeremy Corbyn after a shocking General Election exit poll hinted at a devastating night for Labour. The shadow business secretary grew up by Old Trafford football ground in Manchester and began her working life serving at the counter of a pawn shop, according to her website.
Rebecca Long-Bailey, the self-styled socialist has been described as a “rising star”, which is somewhat of an understatement. The former solicitor was only elected to the House of Commons in May 2015, when she succeeded ex-Communities Secretary Hazel Blears to become the next Labour MP for the Greater Manchester seat of Salford and Eccles.
Long-Bailey increased Blears’ majority by more than 6,800 votes, leaving Conservative candidate Greg Downes in her wake. Since the general election, Long-Bailey has been made shadow Treasury minister, shadow chief secretary to the Treasury and, as of last week, she was promoted to the shadow business secretary brief after fellow Jeremy Corbyn ally Clive Lewis quit the front bench to vote against the Article 50 bill.
The mother-of-one is on the fast-track to the top of the Labour Party and, crucially, she has the backing of fellow left-winger John McDonnell, the shadow chancellor.
“Rebecca Long-Bailey was brilliant on [BBC Question Time] with convincing common-sense answers. Next generation of our socialist leadership team emerging,” McDonnell enthusiastically tweeted following Long-Bailey’s appearance on the flagship debate show.
The shadow business secretary has some serious socialist credentials, with her Irish father, Jimmy, working on the Salford Docks and becoming a trade union representative in later life. But what may be well less known is Long-Bailey’s career as “high-flying solicitor”, as the Manchester Evening News put it. She last worked for Hill Dickinson, specialising in NHS contracts and commercial property, according to her LinkedIn profile.
“Over the years I have held many jobs; working in shops, call centres and a furniture factory,” Long-Bailey told the paper, playing down her professional background.
She has also worked in call centres, a furniture factory, and as a postwoman before eventually studying to become a solicitor, her online biography adds, while she describes herself as a “proud Socialist” in her Twitter profile. In 2015 she was elected as MP for Salford and Eccles.
Who is Rebecca Long Bailey?
I grew up locally by Old Trafford football ground and began my working life serving at the shop counter of a pawn shop, an experience that taught me more about the struggles of life than any degree or qualification ever could. I also worked in call centres, a furniture factory, and as a postwoman before eventually studying to become a solicitor, where, for many years I acted on behalf of NHS Bodies on a range of governance and contractual issues.
I became interested in politics at an early age because I saw the struggles that my parents and other local families faced. I was angry at the inequality and unfairness I had seen and I wanted to do something about it. A society should be judged on how it treats the most vulnerable in the community and I believe that we should rebuild a British economy with the welfare of the British people at its very heart. The foundation stones of our economic policy should be prosperity and social justice not greed and despair.
In May 2015 I was honoured to be elected as MP for Salford and Eccles with 49.4% of the vote, and with over 21,000 resident votes, and again in 2017 with 65.5% of the vote and over 31,000 votes. I am truly grateful for the support I have received.
In my maiden speech to Parliament I talked about the history of Salford and Eccles and the struggles that the people of Salford, Swinton, Eccles and Pendlebury unfairly face due to a financial crisis they didn’t cause. At the same time the Conservative Government turns a blind eye to tax avoidance and hands out tax breaks to millionaires. I told Parliament that this constituency and its people have a proud socialist history, and that I intend to use my time representing them in parliament to fight for them to have a proud, socialist future as well.
I am honoured to have been a member of Jeremy Corbyn’s Shadow Cabinet as the Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, setting out Labour’s policies on how we can rebuild our communities, support local businesses and their work forces, and revolutionise our energy system so that it works for our people, with communities and environment at it’s very heart.
I am a mum, wife, a Man Utd fan (obviously!) and I love Star Wars (the old ones).
Rebecca Long-Bailey Biography and Profile (Rebecca Long-Bailey)