Keir Starmer could shun ‘inexperienced’ Labour leadership rival Rebecca Long-Bailey for most senior shadow cabinet job if he wins contest, say allies
- Keir Starmer and Rebecca Long-Bailey are the favourites in Labour leader battle
- Allies of Sir Keir suggest he would not make rival shadow chancellor if he wins
- The shadow Brexit secretary would find ‘space for people from all sides’ of party
Sir Keir Starmer could shun rival Rebecca Long-Bailey for the most senior shadow cabinet job if he wins the Labour leadership, allies have told MailOnline.
A senior backer of the shadow Brexit secretary said he would be unlikely to install Ms Long-Bailey in the crucial post of shadow chancellor as she lacks ‘experience’.
However, the MP played down the prospect that Sir Keir would purge Corbynistas from his team, insisting there would be ‘space for people from all sides’.
The signals emerged as Ms Long-Bailey – the hard-Left’s favoured candidate – formally launches her campaign with a swipe at Sir Keir.
Ms Long-Bailey was boosted yesterday when she was endorsed by the Momentum group.
A senior backer of shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer (pictured) said he would be unlikely to install Rebecca Long-Bailey in the crucial post of shadow chancellor
The signals emerged as Ms Long-Bailey (pictured during the election campaign) formally launches her campaign with a swipe at Sir Keir
She and Sir Keir currently appear to be the favourites, with shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry – who is also kicking off her campaign today – Wigan MP Lisa Nandy and Birmingham Yardley’s Jess Phillips making up the rest of the field.
However, there is a long way to go until the result is declared in April 4.
A close ally of Sir Keir told MailOnline that he would want to draw talent from the moderate wing of the party – which has been largely consigned to the backbenches under Jeremy Corbyn.
The senior Labour MP said: ‘I don’t think he’ll make Becky shadow chancellor. She doesn’t have a lot of experience.
‘It’s not at all obvious who he would choose. But I think Keir would want to find space in his shadow cabinet for people from all sides of the party, including the Left.
‘I think there’d be a place for people like Becky, and even Richard Burgon would be given something low-profile which didn’t involve him being on the media too much.’
They added that there was a ‘lot of people in the parliamentary Labour party with a lot of talent who need to be brought on’ – pointing to Wes Streeting in the centre and Dan Carden on the Left.
‘I think he’ll want to make use of that range of talent,’ the MP said, suggesting the Left was much weaker following the election trouncing.
‘I don’t think that this generation of the hard left would be obstructionist, I think they’d be ready to serve on the frontbench under someone like Keir,’ they added.
In a speech in Manchester tonight, Ms Long-Bailey will vow to ‘shake up’ the way Government works and put power into the hands of voters.
Ms Long-Bailey will promise to end the ‘gentlemen’s club of politics’ by devolving power out of Westminster, while pledging to introduce a ‘Green New Deal’ that unites Labour heartlands.
‘Where I grew up, Westminster, even London, felt like a million miles away,’ she will say.
The successor to Jeremy Corbyn (pictured in the Commons this week) is due to be announced on April 4