Labour leadership hopeful Rebecca Long-Bailey called for a council house “building boom” tonight as party members prepare to elect Jeremy Corbyn’s replacement.

She called on rivals to back her plan for “aspirational socialism” by focusing on the housing crisis.

Rallying supporters in Peterborough, Cambs, tonight, Shadow Business Secretary Mrs Long-Bailey claimed the chronic housing crisis was “blocking aspiration for millions across our country”.

She said: “If we want to lay the foundations of aspirational socialism by fixing the housing system from top to bottom, we’ve got to start with a council house building boom.

“These new homes can and should be built to the best standards. And I know it can be done. Councils can build desirable, actually pretty swanky, homes; I’ve seen it in my own backyard in Salford.

“So if you want millions of people to realise their dream of a secure, quality home in their community that doesn’t cost the earth and you want Labour to proudly argue for a council house building boom, then I’m your woman.”

Voting in the race to succeed mr Corbyn opens on Monday, with many activists expected to make their decision early.

Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer is the runaway favourite, with odds of 2/15 with Betfair.

Mrs Long-Bailey trails on 11/1 and backbencher Lisa Nandy is on 23/1.

Betfair spokeswoman Katie Baylis said Mr Starmer “has been the favourite to take over the Labour leadership almost since the race began”.

Read More

Latest Labour leadership news

She added: “More than a £1.5million - around half the money on the market - has been bet on Starmer to win the leadership battle, and at this stage it looks like it’s his race to lose.”

The winner will be announced on April 4.