Jeremy Corbyn has waded into Angela Rayner’s ‘Tory scum’ row, insisting she just ‘said it as it should be’
Jeremy Corbyn has waded into Angela Rayner’s ‘Tory scum’ row, insisting she just ‘said it as it should be said’ as Keir Starmer faces open rebellion from the hard left.
The former leader said Mrs Rayner had ‘nothing to apologize for’ after marking Boris Johnson and top ministers as a bunch of scum, homophobic, racist, misogynistic ‘at the Labor conference.
The late tirade infuriated private shadow cabinet colleagues, pointing out that she effectively offended millions of voters, while Sir Keir Starmer issued a scathing reprimand by making it clear he would not use such language.
However, he stopped ordering his deputy to apologize, amid signs that she was maneuvering after a slope at her job.
Corbyn, who is still suspended from the parliamentary party but in Brighton for the annual rally, stirred the pot last night.
‘Angela uses her own words. “She is absolutely right in attacking this government for the way it treats people in our society,” he told LBC.
‘I do not think she has anything to apologize for. She speaks from the heart. ‘
Corbyn also targeted Sir Keir over his changes to Labor’s internal rules, which were apparently designed to prevent a tough left-wing figure from becoming leader again.
The review narrowly surpassed the conference last night for the benefit of moderates – although some elements had to be dropped in advance.
Corbyn said: ‘Angela has a right to go after the Tories. I wish this whole conference went after the Tories did not change rules. ‘
Sir Keir and Mrs Rayner produced an awkward demonstration of unity on the conference stage last night, but their tensions were evident.
In his songs on Saturday night, Rayner said she was ‘tired of shouting from the sidelines’ to ‘a bunch of scum, homophobic, racist, misogynistic, absolute pile of … banana republic … Etonian … piece of scum’.
The 41-year-old former care worker yesterday doubled his demands and appointed Boris Johnson, Priti Patel and other members of the cabinet who have ‘said shocking things’.
Sir Keir and Mrs Rayner produced an awkward demonstration of unity on the conference stage last night, but their tensions were evident
Labor was branded as the ‘true ugly party’ after Angela Rayner described the Tories as racist ‘foam’
Angela’s Smashes: Rayner’s Ordinary Blasts in the Tories
Angela Rayner has increasingly taken on the role of Labour’s straight-talking slapstick with blunt jibes on the Tories.
As a replacement for Keir Starmer, she is increasingly the go-to for soundbites attacking Tory sleaze with withered assessments of the government and the Conservative party’s mistakes.
When Gavin Williamson was sacked as education secretary earlier this month, she did not hold back in her assessment of his tenure, saying: ‘That absolute idiocy, failures and uselessness has damaged our country’s children’s livelihoods and this government has failed young people, teachers and education staff . ‘
Last week, she took on Dominic Raab on the Prime Minister’s question in Boris Johnson’s absence. What the session lacked in forensic details, she compensated for in setbacks, including targeting Raab’s fateful vacation while Afghanistan fell. ‘I note that we have a shortage of hot air this week – just as the Prime Minister is not here, but the Deputy Prime Minister is doing his best to provide supplies,’ she said. ‘Maybe he should go back to his deck chair and let me take over.’
She also targeted PM directly as he faced criticism over funding for a five-digit renovation of his Downing Street apartment. She said: ‘The Prime Minister seems to be allergic to telling the truth about the dubious deals and the web of conflicts of interest, secret loans and coverages that hang over him like a bad smell.’
Her ‘foam’ comments at the party conference on Sunday night came almost a year after she was forced to apologize for similar language in the Commons.
Last October, she unloaded on Tory backbencher Chris Clarkson after he suggested the Labor front saw the pandemic as a ‘good crisis’ to be exploited.
She mocked Mr Clarkson, who asked, ‘Excuse me, did the honorable lady just call me scum?’
The exchange prompted an intervention by a furious Vice-President of the Commons, Eleanor Laing, who said she would not accept such comments in the Chamber under any circumstances.
Mrs Rayner apologized for labeling Mr Clarkson as “foam”, but stopped withdrawing.
A defiant Mrs. Rayner told Sky News that her comments after “watershed” were designed to set “fire in the stomach” of party activists during a conference reception.
She claimed that her language was of the kind ‘one would hear very often in northern working class towns, we even say it jovially to other people, we say’ it’s a delicious thing to do ‘and it is for me my street language’.
And she refused to apologize unless the prime minister first apologized for ‘comments he has made that are homophobic, racist and misogynistic’.
Sir Keir was visibly uncomfortable when asked about her remarks during a television interview, which was a fixed piece of television he had hoped to use to set up his booth when this week’s conference kicked off.
‘Angela and I take different approaches, and these are not languages I would use,’ he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show.
Sir Keir said her comments were part of ‘a fizz of ideas, arguments, disagreements coming together’.
Asked if she should apologize, he said it was ‘a question for Angela, but I would not have used those words’. He said he would ‘talk to Angela about it later’.
Labor officials later declined to comment on the details of his meeting with his ardent deputy.
Mrs. Rayner was more restrained during conferences on the edge of the conference and said to laughing delegates, ‘I choose my words very carefully.’ Labor’s deputy has kept her belief a bit secret that she would become a more effective leader than Sir Keir.
Senior figures fear the excitement could now overshadow a conference seen as a ‘make or break’ event for Sir Keir’s management.
In a round of interviews this morning, Shadow Chancellor Rachel Reeves said she would not have called Boris Johnson’s government ‘foam’ – as Labor deputy Angela Rayner did – even though she claimed many people shared that sentiment.
‘I understand why Angela Rayner is angry, we are all angry at what the government is doing at our conference here in Brighton this week,’ Reeves told Times Radio.
‘I would not use that language, but I think the mood is shared by many people who are currently struggling and queuing for petrol, who are worried about cuts to Universal Credit next month and worried about tax increases next year.’
The Senior Tories yesterday condemned Mrs Rayner’s language and pointed out that it is only two years ago that she lectured to fellow politicians on their ‘responsibility to ensure that our discourse and disagreements take place in a respectful manner’.
Conservative Party chairman Oliver Dowden said her comments provided further evidence that ‘today’s Labor Party exudes a sense of disdain for people who believe in this country, including the many millions who voted Conservative in the last election’ .
Sir. Dowden said: “For all the left-wing talk of kindness and compassion, they tend to produce the worst vitriol, abuse, intolerance of other views. It’s in hard elements … that you find the true ugly party. ‘
The State Department, James Clever, said voters would like to see a Tory party that has had two female prime ministers and the ‘most diverse government’ and ‘they know she’s talking shit’. Some leading Labor figures also questioned Mrs Rayner’s tactics, fearing they could further alienate ‘red wall’ voters who went to the Tories.
Keir Starmer said he would not have used the hateful words directed at the Tories by his deputy Angela Rayner. He is pictured posing for a selfie yesterday
Shadow Secretary of State Lisa Nandy and former leader Ed Miliband both declined to defend her comments.
Former Labor Minister Lord Adonis said Mrs Rayner’s intervention was designed to trigger a leadership contest – and called on Sir Keir to dismiss her if she refused to resign.
Michael Dugher, former Labor frontbencher, said: ‘In fact, many and many people in’ northern working class cities’ do not call the Tories’ foam ‘. They vote for them. Labor needs to face that reality and take up the challenge. ”