POLITICS
13/10/2019 10:09 BST | Updated 13/10/2019 10:21 BST

Jeremy Corbyn Ally Says He Should Quit If Labour Loses Next Election

Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey backs John McDonnell and says it would be "right" for Corbyn to stand down as Labour leader.

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Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn

Jeremy Corbyn should stand down as Labour leader if the party loses the next general election, one of his shadow cabinet allies has said.

Rebecca Long-Bailey said she agreed with shadow chancellor John McDonnell that Corbyn should quit as that is the convention within the party.

The Labour leader has so far refused to say what he would do if he lost an election, but McDonnell said this week he could not see how he and Corbyn could stay in post.

Long-Bailey backed McDonnell on BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show, stressing: “I think it’s right for John to say that in the event of losing an election that they would stand aside.

“That is convention within the party, that’s usually what happens.”

McDonnell also said the next Labour leader has “got to be” a woman, which Long-Bailey said would be “fantastic”.

But the shadow business secretary, who has been touted as a potential successor to Corbyn, insisted: “It’s not something that I’ve ever thought of or I am considering at this stage.

“I am fighting for a Labour government and to get Jeremy Corbyn elected as prime minister.” 

Corbyn meanwhile refused to back McDonnell’s position on the leadership.

He told Sky News’s Ridge On Sunday: “We are not expecting to lose the next election. It is a hypothetical question. It is up to the members of our party to decide who the leader is.

“John gave an answer to an interview that he undertook. My answer is this: I am leading this party to go into an election. We have hundreds of thousands of members determined to win that election.

“I am determined to get a message that it is only Labour that is going to get a message out there, that it is only Labour that is going to end austerity and invest in a better future for this country. I want to lead the party to do that.”