Media caption Labor needs to sell a message of aspiration to voters, says Long-Bailey
Labor had “a great set of policies” at the general election but got its “messaging” wrong, Rebecca Long-Bailey has told the BBC.
“We should have been talking about aspiration, “the Laborer leadership contender said, but too often talked about” handouts “instead.
She said she had the ability to sell” a positive vision “and” hope for the future “that wins elections.
The race to succeed Jeremy Corbyn is down to four after Jess Phillips quit.
Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer and Wigan MP Lisa Nandy have made it on the final leadership ballot, after securing the necessary trade union and affiliated group support.
Emily Thornberry and Mrs Long-Bailey have yet to reach the threshold.
Ms Phillips said she would be happy with either Ms Nandy or Sir Keir as leader, but argued that Mrs Long-Bailey would be the wrong choice for Labor at this moment.
Mr Corbyn announced he would be standing down after Labor suffered its worst defeat, in terms of seats, since in December’s election.
But Mrs Long-Bailey – whose campaign is backed by grassroots organization Momentum – refused to blame the party’s manifesto, saying she was “proud” of the policies in it.
Labour’s “compromise position” on Brexit “did satisfy our communities and meant that we weren’t trusted,” she told the BBC’s political editor, Laura Kuenssberg.
And, she added: “We did not tackle anti-Semitism and we weren’t trusted to deal with that issue within our own party.”
The manifesto policies – which included nationalizing utilities and a big increase in tax-funded public spending – were not drawn together into an “overarching narrative” that chimed with the electorate, she said.
“Our messaging really did not resonate with voters. We should have been talking about aspiration and how all of the things within our manifesto would improve your life, would improve the outcome for businesses in our areas, but we did say that.
“Quite often we talked about handouts and how we will help people, rather than providing that broad positive vision of the future. “
She said Labor had a history of talking” about how bad the Conservatives are “without” showing that real vision and hope for the future. “
” That’s what wins general elections, showing that real vision and hope for the future. And I know that I can do that and that’s why I’m standing to be the leader of the party. “
‘ Chinese takeaway ‘
The shadow business secretary said Labor did not do enough to “sell” her flagship policy, the Green Industrial Revolution, which she said “would have transformed our economy and delivered investment in regions and nations”.
In a wide-ranging interview, Mrs Long-Bailey was asked whether she had any Conservative friends in Parliament.
“Not really, no,” she replied, but added: “I’m friendly to everyone.”
She said her non-political friends would not tell her if they supported the Tories “because I’d be angry “.
She also reiterated her belief that women had a” right to choose “when it came to abortion and she was not in favor of changing the law, after a (row over comments she made to Catholic priests during the general election.
And she backed a change in the law to allow transgender people to self-identify without the need for medical evidence.