Angela Rayner to step aside to back Rebecca Long-Bailey as Labour leader

PUBLISHED: 08:25 17 December 2019 | UPDATED: 08:25 17 December 2019

Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey speaking during the launch of the Labour party manifesto in Birmingham. Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA.

Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey speaking during the launch of the Labour party manifesto in Birmingham. Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA.

PA Wire/PA Images

Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner is not expected to run for Labour leader so that her friend Rebecca Long-Bailey can take the post, according to reports.

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Instead Rayner is expected to run as deputy leader in a bid that would allow her flatmate, shadow business secretary Long-Bailey, to take the party's top job.

It comes as Corbyn indicated he would quit as Labour leader in the early part of next year after the party suffered its worst general election defeat since 1935.

Tom Watson stepped down as deputy leader shortly before the election was called.

According to multiple reports, Ashton-under-Lyne MP Rayner has not made a final decision, but is exploring a deputy leadership bid.

In a tweet on Monday evening, Rayner said she will work "day and night" to restore the party to its "rightful place".

Long-Bailey, who is the MP for Salford, is one of several candidates said to be a possible successor to Corbyn, having received the backing of senior figures in the party's current leadership.

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