Rebecca Long-Bailey publicly invited her rivals in the Labor leadership race to support a commitment to build more public housing, while the battle for success Jeremy Corbyn began to take on a more personal tone in the run-up to the vote.
With members voting slated to begin arriving on Monday, Long-Bailey used a speech in Peterborough to argue that a promise to build at least 100,000 local authority homes for social rent per year would help “lay the foundations of socialism. aspirational “.
He said: “So if you want millions of people to make their dream of a safe and quality home in their community that doesn’t cost the earth come true and you want Labor to discuss proudly about a building boom, then I am your woman. . “
A press release on the speech noted that while Long-Bailey had supported this idea, was not included in a list of 10 engagements released by Sir Keir Starmer – widely regarded as the favorite to win the contest.
A spokesman for Starmer said he had “expressed his commitment to a new generation of social and social housing in each community” and was named leader of the Labor Housing Group, the affiliate party organization that focuses on topic.
The challenge to Starmer and the third candidate, Lisa Nandy, highlights what some in the Labor side claim is the beginning of a more personal approach to the contest from Long-Bailey’s camp, and more specifically from some of his allies to the left of the party .
In recent days, Starmer has faced a series of direct attacks by Long-Bailey supporters. A video on social media from a Corbynite news site, Novara Media accused Starmer of coming from an “elusive, evasive” tension of labor policy and having fueled “right-wing moral panic” as director of public prosecutions.
Nandy’s team has publicly expressed his annoyance for Momentum, the leftist Labor faction supporting Long-Bailey, for saying that Long-Bailey was “the only candidate for leadership” that opposed a 2015 bill on welfare cuts – when Nandy was on leave at the time maternity.
While a Nandy ally described it as “a really low tactic”, they said they had not personally blamed Long-Bailey for personal attacks. “This seems to have intensified in the past few days,” they said, “but it mostly comes from its most excitable supporters.”
A source in the Starmer campaign said: “It is up to them what they do. We are conducting a very positive campaign and we are trying to bring the party together.”
Long-Bailey supporters have tried to portray his rivals as funded by wealthy donors, with party president Ian Lavery tweeting that he was “amazed at the apparent huge corporate donations” to some campaigns.
On Friday, Momentum launched a £ 45 donation appeal from supporters to fund a “laser-guided viral video ad” to be sent to all Labor members in an attempt to counter a mass email from Starmer.
However, a Long-Bailey ally rejected the idea that the tone was turning negative. “It is entirely legitimate for the other candidates to be subjected to adequate scrutiny of their records,” they said.
“There’s nothing wrong with that. Anyway, if you look at the Democratic primary in the United States, that’s all very delicate stuff by comparison.”