Rebecca Long-Bailey appointed shadow education secretary

Sir Keir Starmer has named his former leadership rival Rebecca Long-Bailey as shadow education secretary.

Long-Bailey, the MP for Salford and Eccles, was previously the shadow business secretary, and came second in the Labour leadership contest.

She succeeds Angela Rayner, her friend and flatmate, who won the deputy leadership election and is now the Labour Party’s chair.

Responding on twitter a short time ago, Long-Bailey said she was “delighted”.

“In this time of crisis I will do my utmost to ensure that our teaching staff, students and their families receive the support they deserve.

“Never has there been a more important time to fight for a properly funded, accountable, public education service, free at the point of use, from cradle to grave so that all our aspirations can be realised. Social mobility is meaningless if we don’t all rise together.”

During the leadership campaign, Long-Bailey told Schools Week that the country needed to end the “fragmentation and marketisation of our schools”.

“I believe local authorities should be responsible for delivering education to their local communities,” she said.

Her position is in line with that of Starmer, who said all schools “should be under local democratic control”.

She also supports Labour’s manifesto commitments to close tax loopholes for private schools, replace Ofsted and scrap primary school tests.

Congratulating her successor on twitter, Angela Rayner hinted that Labour’s approach to education under Corbyn – and particularly his flagship National Education Service policy – would continue.

“Delighted to be handing over the shadow education brief to @RLong_Bailey who is a brilliant friend and colleague – Labour’s National Education Service is in safe hands.”