Jeremy Corbyn says he would be “happy” to carry on serving as a senior member of Labour’s top team.
The outgoing party leader left the door open to remaining in the shadow cabinet after formally handing over to his successor in six weeks’ time.
He has already been touted for a top job by shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey – one of the contenders to replace him.
She said “I’d like to” keep him in the shadow cabinet if she beats off competition from shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer and backbencher Lisa Nandy.
And deputy leadership contender Richard Burgon has said having Mr Corbyn as his shadow foreign secretary would be “ideal”.
Responding to the offers, Mr Corbyn did not rule out staying on Labour’s frontbench – something a leader has not done since Ramsay McDonald moved from the top job to lord president of the Privy Council under the national government in 1935.
“I’m happy to serve the party in any capacity because my whole life has been about making my contribution in parliament, holding the government to account and of course speaking out on policy areas,” he said during a visit to the flood-hit Welsh town of Pontypridd.
“I’ve been proud to lead the party for the last five years, proud of the policy achievements we’ve made and of the huge growth in membership.”
Asked to confirm that meant if he was offered a job he would take it, Mr Corbyn added: “Let’s see what it is.
“I didn’t know I was going to be offered anything, you’re telling me something I didn’t know.”
It comes after Ed Miliband – Mr Corbyn’s predecessor – was reportedly being lined up for a return to the frontbench by Sir Keir.
Senior allies of the leadership contender were quoted by the Telegraph as saying Mr Miliband was a contender to become shadow chancellor.
The new leader will be revealed at a special conference on Saturday 4 April.
Author: Aubrey Allegretti