Politics

Labour leadership rivals are locked in bizarre bidding war over who has the most working-class background


LABOUR leadership rivals are locked in a bizarre bidding war over who has the most working-class background.

Would-be candidates have been accused of hyping up their humble beginnings in a bid to appeal to grass-roots members.

 Labour leadership rivals, hoping to replace Corbyn, are locked in a bizarre bidding war over who has the most working-class background

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Labour leadership rivals, hoping to replace Corbyn, are locked in a bizarre bidding war over who has the most working-class backgroundCredit: AFP or licensors

But the stark truth is that most of them are from middle-class stock or are firmly part of the London metropolitan elite.

One MP remarked: “It’s been quite amusing, if not a little nauseating, to hear them talking about how tough life was when they were a kid – or the humdrum jobs of their parents and grandparents.

“It’s almost become a bidding war, with them trying to out-do each other over who had the toughest start in life.

“I’m half expecting one of them to say ‘That’s nothing. I used to live in a cave.’”

Rebecca Long Bailey

 Rebecca claims her outlook was shaped by watching her dad worry about losing his job at Salford docks ... the docks closed when she was two

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Rebecca claims her outlook was shaped by watching her dad worry about losing his job at Salford docks … the docks closed when she was twoCredit: Allstar Picture Library

Likes to say: Her outlook was shaped by watching her dad worry about losing his job at Salford docks.

Reality: Long Bailey was just two when the docks closed in 1982.

Emily Thornberry

 Emily is entitled to call herself Lady Nugee because she is married to Sir Christopher Nugee, a High Court judge

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Emily is entitled to call herself Lady Nugee because she is married to Sir Christopher Nugee, a High Court judge

Likes to say: Relied on free school meals after her parents divorced and she had to leave family home with mum and two brothers.

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Reality: She is entitled to call herself Lady Nugee because she is married to Sir Christopher Nugee, a High Court judge.

Keir Starmer

 Kier became a barrister in 1987, became Director of Public Prosecutions in 2008 and was knighted in 2014

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Kier became a barrister in 1987, became Director of Public Prosecutions in 2008 and was knighted in 2014Credit: Reuters

Likes to say: His father was a toolmaker. Prefers not to be called “Sir”.

Reality: He became a barrister in 1987, became Director of Public Prosecutions in 2008 and was knighted in 2014. His wife is a solicitor.

Clive Lewis

 Clive grew up on a council estate in Northampton, the son of a single father, and was the first member of his family to attend university

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Clive grew up on a council estate in Northampton, the son of a single father, and was the first member of his family to attend universityCredit: Richard Pohle – The Times

Likes to say: “I don’t want to manage the labour movement, I want to unleash it.”

Reality: Grew up on a council estate in Northampton, the son of a single father. First member of his family to attend university.

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