REBECCA Long-Bailey laid down the gauntlet to other Labour leadership candidates to renationalise energy, water, rail and mail as it emerged her bid to raise a campaign “war chest” flopped.
The hard left candidate called for other contenders to give the party membership “concrete commitments” over public ownership in a speech as she secured her place on the ballot with the backing of the Fire Brigades Union.
But despite her recent success, Ms Long-Bailey, 40 – seen as the hard left’s Corbyn Clone – has struggled to hit her £50,000 target to fund her campaign.
Hard left supporters Momentum launched an appeal for funds last Monday (Jan 20) and expected to reach their target of £50,000 in two days.
But the pot is still £15,000 short a week later amid recriminations from members in the Corbynite group angry at being pressured into endorsing her as preferred candidate.
One member said: “You can’t build a new, fresh, grassroots movement promoting new forms of party democracy when you yourselves learn nothing and work from an old tired handbook of top down decision making where you don’t trust your membership and then expect them to work their heart and soul for you”.
But on Wednesday Ms Long Bailey reinforced her hard left credentials calling for wide spread renationislation.
Speaking last night at a rally in Leeds, she said: “Our party’s long overdue return to policies calling for public ownership of essential services are not only consistently popular in opinion polls, they are the core of what Labour stands for.
“New models of democratic public ownership are essential to delivering modern, world leading and efficient services to everyone in our country.”
She added: “Members have a right to know exactly where candidates stand. I want to be clear that I am fully committed to the pledges in our manifesto last year for public ownership of energy, water, rail and mail.
“Other candidates say they agree with the transformative programme, but now I’m calling for specific, concrete commitments you can trust.
“Public ownership of key utilities is the foundation for a more fair and equal society, and any candidate for Labour leader should endorse them without hesitation.”