But it was not first time she had heard question – urgent improvement and change of advisors is needed
Labour leadership hopeful Rebecca Long-Bailey confirmed on national television yesterday that she intends, like rival Keir Starmer, to get rid of Labour’s National Constitutional Committee (NCC) – Labour’s ultimate, quasi-judicial disciplinary body which is guided by independent layers – and replace it with an ‘independent’ system.
The confirmation came during a discussion on the BBC’s Marr programme of the twelve trans rights pledges she supported.
But Long-Bailey denied that this would entail expelling women’s groups such as Women’s Place UK. Long-Bailey said she didn’t think the pledges included that provision, but Marr pointed out that it is explicit in the twelve points published by the ‘Labour for Trans Rights’ groups to which she had committed.
Long-Bailey then fell for a ‘gotcha’ in which Marr left out a key part of a Jeremy Corbyn quote:
Marr omitted that Corbyn had said in 2018 that discussion of Israel and its policies as racist “because of their discriminatory impact” should not be considered antisemitic – and failed to mention that the same statement by Corbyn also recognised Israel’s right to exist and supported a ‘two state solution’:
Long-Bailey said she could not ‘remember the incident itself’. However, she had heard about it only a little while before, when Robert Peston raised it at the recent Jewish Labour Movement hustings.
Peston did not leave out the context about ‘discriminatory impact’, instead simply ignoring it as he challenged Long-Bailey and other candidates. But she did not take Marr to task for leaving it out.
She also confirmed that she will implement the ten demands of the Board of Deputies of British Jews (BOD), in spite of serious concerns raised by Jewish Voice for Labour and others about the legality and discriminatory effect of the ‘pledges’.
Ms Long-Bailey’s lack of awareness of what was in the trans pledge she supported will raise serious concerns.
Her willingness to accept pledges without being fully aware of what they say makes even more worrying her plan to abolish Labour’s most rigorous and legally-sound disciplinary process.
If Ms Long-Bailey wants to win the leadership contest, she urgently needs to improve – and to distance herself from the advisers who are clearly encouraging her to make hasty commitments.
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