Tweet likely to spark surge in support
The Labour deputy leadership contest has flared into sudden life as left candidate Richard Burgon took on rival Angela Rayner publicly over her comments about a lack of respect for outgoing party leader Jeremy Corbyn.
In comments reminiscent of Jess Phillips’s tone-deaf self-praise, Rayner had told ITV news that Corbyn did not ‘command respect’ among MPs and that she would be more ‘bombastic’:
I’m more bombastic, more focused and more sharp, and I would expect more discipline in a way that Jeremy didn’t.
He didn’t command respect, and he therefore wasn’t able to command that collectivism in the Labour party. I think that’s the one thing that I’ve got. I’ve had the respect and the support of all of the parliamentary Labour party and up and down the country most of the constituency Labour parties have supported me in this process.
I resonate with people in the country in a way that Jeremy doesn’t.
The comments sparked anger – and Burgon addressed them head-on in a tweet this evening that pulled no punches:
The forthright comment saw an immediate and positive reaction from Labour members – including those who might not have made him their preferred choice:
Burgon has demonstrated again why he himself enjoys a large measure of respect among the party’s majority left – and insiders are suggesting it might see him surge in the deputy leader race just as ballots go out to members.
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