Labour deputy leadership contender Angela Rayner has come under fire following comments that have been seen as throwing Jeremy Corbyn under a bus, Rayner proclaiming that the current leader doesn’t command the respect that she does.
Speaking in a car for ITV news, Rayner states that she’s more “bombastic, focused and sharp” than Corbyn and that the Labour leader “didn’t command respect” that she apparently does, claiming to have the respect and support of the PLP and the grassroots.
Well, so much for that.
Rayner goes on to insist that this apparent respect she commands is because she “[speaks] like them” and seemingly rejects Rebecca Long-Bailey’s idea of offering Corbyn a position in the shadow cabinet, stating that “now the opportunity should be for the next generation to come forward”.
The feeling that Rayner has been possessed by the malevolent spirit of Jess Philips is inescapable.
The comments were criticised by the deputy leader frontrunner Richard Burgon who said that Corbyn would always have his respect.
The attack on Corbyn will come as a surprise to some who generally view Rayner as being on the left of the party despite several controversial incidents in the recent past where she has floated far nearer the centre or even right of the party.
Rayner’s negative views on colonialism and the British empire being taught in schools and negative stance on immigration has come under fire by BAME members of Labour, with some describing her statements as being “dogwhistle racism & left nationalism”.
Rayner has previously described herself as being part of the “soft left” of the Labour Party and famously shared a flat with Momentum’s other chosen candidate Rebecca Long-Bailey.
Main Image: Angela Rayner, 2016 Labour Party Conference | Rwendland