Rayner issues thinly-veiled threat to Starmer over future role

Rayner issues thinly-veiled threat to Starmer over future role

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Angela Rayner compared herself to John Prescott “in a skirt” after jokingly saying Sir Keir Starmer will have “trouble” if he doesn’t make her his second in command. She told Andrew Marr on LBC: “I’ll definitely be deputy prime minister otherwise Keir’s got trouble. I’m going to be John Prescott in a skirt, I just say it how I see it.”

It comes as Ms Rayner said the party was “ready for a general election” as she described the Chancellor’s and Prime Minister’s approach as “so reckless” and a “very risky casino-style gamble”.

She told Times Radio: “The situation at the moment is so grave, the markets are so spooked by what the Conservatives have said on Friday, that actually they really need to get a grip of this because I don’t see how we can go forward certainly up until – the Bank of England are not due to meet until November.

“I really don’t see how we get from where we are now until November in a situation where obviously we need to stabilise the market, we need to make sure that there’s confidence in the programme for the Government so that we don’t end up in a really serious situation.

“That is my appeal really to the Government, is that this is not just about party political politics, this is really quite serious and it’s going to affect people’s real lives, mortgage, interest rates, day-to-day living costs, all of these things. If you’re not on £155,000 a year or above, you’re going to be worse off as a result of Friday’s budget.”

Sir Keir was seeking to broadcast one thing loud and clear: he believes Labour is now a government-in-waiting prepared to fix the “deep cost of Tory failure”.

In a conference he opened with a national anthem tribute to the Queen, the leader used his speech in Liverpool to bill Labour as the party of the “centre ground”.

The target of achieving 70 percent home ownership and talk of being a pro-business party of “security and aspiration” as well as “sound money” were bids to prove this.

But his promise to form a publicly owned “Great British Energy” company creating clean power jobs was a pitch to the party faithful, and they welcomed it with a standing ovation.

Labour conference: Harwood on singing of national anthem

Having supported Remain, he vowed to “make Brexit work” and that there would be no deal to secure power with the SNP “under any circumstances”.

He promised to put “country first, party second”, putting further distance, in his mind, to the years of opposition and infighting under Jeremy Corbyn.

And Sir Keir described Labour as the “political wing of the British people”, borrowing a phrase from Sir Tony Blair before his 1997 landslide.

The conference did not pass seamlessly, however. Members backed a call to overhaul the UK’s voting system and replace it with proportional representation despite the leader opposing this.


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Moments before his speech, a small storm was gathering over a recording that emerged showing MP Rupa Huq describing Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng as only “superficially” black.

But she was suspended from the Labour party within an hour of Sir Keir leaving the stage.

He admitted the “next two years will be tough” as the Tories under Liz Truss battles to remain in power as they fight the financial turmoil exacerbated by their raft of tax cuts being funded by borrowing.

But, just like in 1945, 1964 and 1997 when the electorate handed his party the keys to No 10, Sir Keir argued “this is a Labour moment”.

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