Labour leadership hopeful Rebecca Long-Bailey has told Sky News she would abolish the House of Lords if she got to Downing Street.
In an exclusive interview with Sophy Ridge on Sunday, the shadow business secretary said while there needed to be checks and balances at Westminster, having “a set of completely unelected people doing that” was not right.
Ms Long-Bailey also signalled she would not stand in the way of a second referendum on Scottish independence and admitted she had been “devastated” at Labour losing the trust of the Jewish community over the party’s failure to tackle antisemitism.
Her comments came as the race continues to succeed Jeremy Corbyn, who is stepping down after the party’s worst election defeat since 1935.
Candidates need 22 Labour MPs or MEPs to nominate them by Monday in order to progress in the contest.
Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer remains the clear frontrunner among Labour MPs, being the first of the six contenders to meet the threshold.
Ms Long-Bailey and the backbenchers Lisa Nandy and Jess Phillips have also got enough backing.
But shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry, with 10 nominations, and Clive Lewis, with just four, appear to be struggling.
Speaking to Ridge, Ms Long-Bailey said: “I do want to abolish the House of Lords and we’ll be rolling out as my campaign progresses how we intend to really shake up that constitutional package.
“There would need to be checks and balances in place but to have a set of completely unelected people doing that I don’t think is right.”
She also indicated if she became prime minister she would not stand in the way of a fresh independence vote north of the border.
Ms Long-Bailey said: “I’m fully committed to the union and I don’t think that should be shaken in any way.
“But ultimately the people of Scotland need to make the case and they’ve got their own parliament to determine whether they want to push that and that will be for me as a prime minister to review and to look at it.
“I wouldn’t want to inhibit the democracy of people because that’s one of the most fundamental pillars that we’re proud of in this country.”
She also stressed the need for the party to “very hard and very robustly” to tackle antisemitism in the party.
Ms Long-Bailey said: “I was absolutely devastated, as many of our members, were to knock on the doors of Jewish community members who said that just they didn’t trust the Labour Party anymore and we do need to work hard to rebuild that trust but that requires action.”
She said Jeremy Corbyn bears personal responsibility for the problem and expressed her unhappiness at the way it had been handled.
She said: “I wasn’t happy with the way our process was being run I’ll be honest, I don’t think we were dealing with complaints quickly enough and I think that’s quite clear, I’ve been quite vocal about that.
“I also felt that there should have been a level of independence to the allegations, the way they were investigated.”
Despite being seen as the favourite of the Labour left and having secured the backing of the grassroots Momentum group, Ms Long-Bailey rejected being the “continuity Corbyn candidate”.
She said: “It annoys me when people say that and unfortunately as a woman, it annoys me even more.
“I’m a person in my own right… I would describe myself as a socialist.”
Mr Lewis, who faces being knocked out of the race, told Ridge that part of the campaign to leave the EU “had racism at its heart”.
He said: “I think part of the Brexit campaign, and part of the undertone of Brexit, from some politicians, Nigel Farage and others, had racism at its core and its heart.
“They used it as a mechanism to divide our communities, to divide our country.”
He added: “How many people of colour woke on the day after the referendum with a sense of dread because of what had happened?
“Ultimately our country had chosen to listen to Boris Johnson, someone who has a track record of racist commentary, of giving credence to racism.”
Ms Thornberry has said she is confident she can secure the backing of enough Labour MPs “so long as I don’t get any slippage”.
“It is a long contest and it will have its ups and downs. I have been a slow starter, but I did start from a standing start after the general election,” she told BBC’s Andrew Marr.
Meanwhile, Ms Phillips has suspended a member of her team over “completely unacceptable” tweets, as she stressed the need for zero-tolerance to antisemitism.
In a statement, the prominent backbencher said: “This is the right thing to do and the only way to start building a bridge again with the Jewish community.”
Labour leadership hopeful Rebecca Long-Bailey has told Sky News she would abolish the House of Lords if she got to Downing Street. In an exclusive interview with Sophy Ridge on Sunday, the shadow business secretary said while there needed to be checks and balances at Westminster, having “a set of completely unelected people doing that” was not right.