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 plays down prospect of Sir Keir Starmer dominating a Labour administration
Angela Rayner today insisted Sir Keir Starmer was ‘no Tony Blair’ and she is ‘no John Prescott’ as she was pressed about her relationship with the Labour leader.
The party’s deputy leader stressed Labour would be taking ‘a team’ into government if it won the next general election.
Ms Rayner also spoke of becoming deputy prime minister under Sir Keir if Labour are victorious, having described their ties as like ‘an arranged marriage’.
It has been speculated that Ms Rayner could lose some of her shadow cabinet responsibilities when Sir Keir conducts a pre-election reshuffle of his top team.
But other reports have suggested the Labour deputy leader could be moved to the levelling up brief as part of a wide-ranging domestic portfolio.
This has been compared to the job enjoyed by Lord Prescott when he was the party’s last deputy PM under Sir Tony.
Yet, Ms Rayner this morning rejected a comparison of her relationship with Sir Keir – which has historically been rocky – to the Blair/Prescott partnership.
Angela Rayner insisted Sir Keir Starmer was ‘no Tony Blair’ and she is ‘no John Prescott’ as she was pressed about her relationship with the Labour leader
It has been speculated that Ms Rayner could lose some of her shadow cabinet responsibilities when Sir Keir conducts a pre-election reshuffle of his top team
Ms Rayner rejected a comparison of her relationship with Sir Keir – which has historically been rocky – to the Blair/Prescott partnership
‘Keir’s no Tony Blair and I’m no John Prescott,’ she told Times Radio. ‘We’re in a different era. Me and Keir are very clear – we’ve got to deliver change for people.
‘People need to have hope into the future.’
Ms Rayner also played down the prospect of Sir Keir dominating a future Labour administration, as she was quizzed about what role she might play in government.
‘My job will be supporting that process as a deputy prime minister and there’s lots of skills that I have, that I can deploy in terms of supporting the team,’ she added.
‘Because it is a team that will be fortunate enough – if we win the general election – that will go in there and will be a team united in making sure we make that change for people.’
In a previous Labour reshuffle in May 20201, Sir Keir and Ms Rayner were reported to have been locked in a power battle after the Labour leader attempted to demote his deputy.
She subsequently emerged in a significantly beefed-up role, with a string of job titles, after Sir Keir saw his plans derailed by the stand-off.
In another radio interview this morning, Ms Rayner admitted her and Sir Keir’s relationship had ‘evolved’.
Asked by BBC Radio 4’s Today programme about Labour’s commitment for the next election, Ms Rayner said the party’s ‘values remain exactly the same’ despite it appearing to have softened many policy proposals in recent months.
She added: ‘Mine and Keir’s relationship has evolved as well. I often talk about it as an arranged marriage. We were both elected by the membership differently and independently.
‘We have worked constructively together and we continue to do so, because me and Keir both know that we need a Labour government and we need that change in this country.’
Pressed about whether she may see her responsibilities change in an upcoming reshuffle, Ms Rayner said: ‘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.
‘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, and to be His Majesty’s Government would be an incredible honour, and I take that seriously and would do whatever it takes to improve the lives of British people in whatever role that is.’
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