Labour leadership fight gets nasty as Rebecca Long-Bailey taunts Emily Thornberry by saying ‘Miaow’ in feud over hard left candidate’s ‘lie’
- Candidates taking verbal swipes at each other at party hustings in Nottingham
- Early front-runner for leadership Sir Keir Starmer was forced to pull out of event
- The new Labour leader is expected to be announced on April 4
The Labour leadership contest has been getting increasingly personal as Rebecca Long-Bailey said ‘miaow’ in response to Emily Thornberry’s pointed dig.
The candidates have been taking verbal swipes at each other at the party hustings in Nottingham.
In the latest clash, Ms Thornberry made the apparent dig at Ms Long-Bailey’s claim that she recently had to work into the night to deal with a Commons committee at short notice and was brought pizza to get her through the preparations.
The candidates have been taking verbal swipes at each other at the party hustings in Nottingham. Pictured (left to right): Rebecca Long-Bailey, Jim McMahon (standing in for Sir Kier Starmer), Lisa Nandy and Emily Thornberry
The Labour leadership contest has been getting increasingly personal as Rebecca Long-Bailey said ‘miaow’ in response to Emily Thornberry’s pointed dig
The shadow foreign secretary compared this to her experience in the shadow cabinet after a mass walk-out by members opposed to Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership agenda.
Ms Thornberry told the hustings: ‘Frankly, it was quite tough. At one stage I was foreign secretary and defence secretary at the the same time.
‘And at another time I was foreign secretary and Brexit secretary at the same time.
‘And I know some people had to be up late eating pizza, but, I tell you, I did all of these different jobs, all at the same time and supported the leader in the way that he needed to be supported.’
Ms Long-Bailey responded to the jibe, saying: ‘Oh, miaow. We love each other really.
‘I was working very, very hard, I’ll have everybody know. We did have to eat pizza.’
The quarrel was prompted by a question over whether it was acceptable for a Labour MP to attack a Labour council.
Responding to the query, Ms Long-Bailey said: ‘But in terms of attacking colleagues, we shouldn’t attack each other under any circumstances.
‘We have had four years of division in this party.
‘It’s not acceptable to attack Labour councils if you are a Labour MP.
‘It is not acceptable for Labour MPs to attack each other.’
Early front-runner for the leadership Sir Keir Starmer (pictured) pulled out of the hustings because his mother-in-law remains in a critical condition in hospital after an accident last month
Ms Thornberry repeated her insistence that Labour could not just be a ‘cuddly, hopeless’ protest movement.
She said: ‘Some people may want to be a protest movement, but, frankly, the days of us being cuddly, hopeless lefties has got to be over.
‘We can be cuddly, we can be lefty, but we have to be in power.’
Early front-runner for the leadership Sir Keir Starmer pulled out of the hustings because his mother-in-law remains in a critical condition in hospital after an accident last month.
Sir Keir along with with Rebecca Long-Bailey, Emily Thornberry and Lisa Nandy are all currently vying to replace Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn who offered to step down following his party’s loss in the December 2019 general election.
The new Labour leader will be announced on April 4.