Wednesday, 17 Jul 2024

Row breaks out in the Labour party

Angela Rayner is accused of trying to ‘bounce’ Keir Starmer into guaranteeing she would be his Deputy PM in new Labour party row breaks

  • The party is desperate to avoid looking as if it is complacent about winning
  • Shadow Ministers expect Labour leader Sir Keir to carry out a delayed reshuffle

Tensions broke out within Labour yesterday over claims that Angela Rayner was trying to bounce Sir Keir Starmer into guaranteeing she would be his number two in Government.

The claims came after the party’s deputy leader brushed aside talk of a possible change of role in a reshuffle by declaring: ‘I will be the Deputy Prime Minister.’

An insider told The Mail on Sunday: ‘Sounds like Angela is bouncing – or trying to bounce – Keir into giving her that formal title.’

The party is desperate to avoid looking as if it is complacent about winning the next election and ‘measuring the No10 curtains’, despite a poll lead over the Tories.

Shadow Ministers expect Labour leader Sir Keir to carry out a delayed reshuffle of his top team next month. 

An insider told The Mail on Sunday: ‘Sounds like Angela is bouncing – or trying to bounce – Keir into giving her that formal title’

Shadow Ministers expect Labour leader Sir Keir to carry out a delayed reshuffle of his top team next month

Ms Rayner was asked to comment last week on talk that Sir Keir would trim her wide-ranging brief as Shadow First Secretary of State, Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and spokesperson on the future of work.

READ MORE: Angela Rayner takes swipe at Starmer as she insists Labour will take ‘a team’ into government if they win the general election and says ‘Keir’s no Tony Blair’ 

She told the BBC: ‘The important thing is that I will be the Deputy Prime Minister and I will be the deputy leader of the Labour Party, so actually the important job is around supporting Keir as the leader. 

To me, the important job is getting into government and then delivering, and wherever that is and however I use my skills within that, I am happy to do that.’

Ms Rayner, who was elected deputy leader by party members, added: ‘It is an absolute honour and a privilege to be an MP for my constituency, and to be on the front bench, and to do the job I am doing.’

She added: ‘And to be His Majesty’s Government would be an incredible honour.’

Over two years ago, Sir Keir sacked Ms Rayner as party chairman after the shock loss of Hartlepool in a by-election, but in a botched reshuffle he was forced to give her several Shadow Cabinet responsibilities.

But last night, sources close to Sir Keir pointed out that he had already made it clear that she would be Deputy Prime Minister in government, having described her as a ‘fantastic and formidable woman’ and a ‘brilliant politician’.

A spokesman for Sir Keir said: ‘Keir’s relentless focus has taken us from the doldrums in 2019 to a government in waiting.

‘Speculation over government roles proves how far we’ve come with Keir’s leadership. 

‘Look at what he’s achieved in three years and you get a glimpse of how his ruthless determination to deliver for working people will give Britain its future back.’

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