2019’s “I will never turn on Corbyn” became 2021’s attempt to deny appearing with him – yet deputy leader, as well as Nandy, eyeing leadership bid as knives sharpen for Starmer
Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner is reportedly canvassing support for a leadership bid, with the Labour right preparing to despatch Keir Starmer after last night’s by-election disaster in Chesham and Amersham. Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy is also said to be ringing round to assess support.
Rayner’s hopes of winning a leadership contest appear to be vanishingly small. The right of the party will no doubt be manoeuvring for the likes of Rachel Reeves, or perhaps even Nandy – while much of the left has long since turned its back on Rayner for her attacks not only on Jeremy Corbyn but on the left’s mass membership.
Yet Rayner seems to have been trying to push them even further away, with a denial of knowingly appearing with Corbyn at a ‘Stop Fire and Rehire’ parliamentary campaign launch.
Attacked by the usual right-wingers for appearing with Corbyn, Rayner reportedly tried to claim Corbyn had simply ‘photobombed’ her at the event and she had not even known he was there. Yet pictures have emerged showing the two posing with the campaign’s Barry Gardiner – as well as reports that she took the microphone from Corbyn to make her speech at the event:
Former Corbyn speechwriter Alex Nunns commented witheringly:
The MP hasn’t a leg to stand on to defend her conduct or credibility when she swore in early 2019 that she would “never turn on Corbyn”:
The left looks set to have a last chance to rescue the party from the right-wing disaster – moral and electoral – that has unfolded since the end of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, before the right walls up the door forever by reverting leadership election rules to the old, discredited ‘electoral college’ system that gave a handful of hard-right MPs as much voting power as the whole membership put together, as it intends to do at September’s conference.
But under the current rules there will only be enough nominations available to get one candidate into the contest, if that. That opportunity cannot be squandered and any MP who backs Rayner rather than a candidate with a chance of winning will be contributing to the end of the Labour party.
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