Rebecca Long-Bailey vows to abolish House of Lords

12 January 2020, 16:01 | Updated: 12 January 2020, 16:06

Ms Long-Bailey wants to abolish the House of Lords
Ms Long-Bailey wants to abolish the House of Lords. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Labour leadership hopeful Rebecca Long-Bailey has promised to abolish the House of Lords if she is elected to be prime minister.

The shadow business secretary is hoping to succeed Jeremy Corbyn and is seen by many as the most similar candidate to replace the outgoing Labour leader.

Ms Long-Bailey said she planned to unveil a radical package of constitutional measures if successful in her leadership campaign.

"I do want to abolish the House of Lords and we'll be rolling out, as my campaign progresses, how we intend to really shake up that constitutional package," she told Sky News' Sophy Ridge.

"There would need to be checks and balances in place, but to have a set of completely unelected people doing that I don't think is right."

The leadership hopeful could offer Scotland another independence referendum
The leadership hopeful could offer Scotland another independence referendum. Picture: PA

The MP for Salford & Eccles won the support of Momentum on Saturday - the left-wing, grassroots political organisation - and has long been considered the favoured option of the Labour left.

Ms Long-Bailey also said she would not block a second referendum on Scottish independence if she became prime minister.

"I'm fully committed to the union and I don't think that should be shaken in any way, but ultimately the people of Scotland need to make the case," she said.

"They've got their own Parliament to determine whether they want to push that and that will be for me as a prime minister to review and to look at.

"I wouldn't want to inhibit the democracy of people because that's one of the most fundamental pillars that we're proud of in this country."

Ms Long-Bailey said Mr Corbyn bore some responsibility for anti-Semitism in the party
Ms Long-Bailey said Mr Corbyn bore some responsibility for anti-Semitism in the party. Picture: PA

On the issue of anti-Semitism, the 40-year-old said she would work "very hard and very robustly" to tackle the issue and she was unhappy with how it had been dealt with so far.

"I wasn't happy with the way our process was being run, I'll be honest, I don't think we were dealing with complaints quickly enough and I think that's quite clear, I've been quite vocal about that," she said.

"I spoke to Jeremy about it, I spoke to the various members of the team, I spoke to various members of the NEC (national executive committee) about that."

Asked if Mr Corbyn bore personal responsibility, she said: "He does and he's apologised.

"I think any Labour politician that leads the Labour Party should apologise again for what has happened because it has been unacceptable."

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