Ash­ton MP has last word in ac­cent row

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MP An­gela Rayner shut down a Twit­ter troll after he gave her a hard time about her ac­cent.

The man – whose ac­count has since been deleted – ac­cused the politi­cian of not be­ing able to ‘speak English prop­erly’ dur­ing an ap­pear­ance on The An­drew Marr Show on Sun­day morn­ing.

Ms Rayner, who rep­re­sents Ash­ton-under-Lyne, had been on the pol­i­tics show dis­cussing an in­crease in vi­o­lence in Bri­tain.

The shadow ed­u­ca­tion sec­re­tary told Marr: “When the Home Sec­re­tary sticks her head in the sand and sug­gests that los­ing 21,000 po­lice of­fi­cers off our streets doesn’t have an ef­fect, then I think that’s a very naive po­si­tion.”

Ms Rayner grew up on Bridge­hall Coun­cil es­tate in Stock­port and has a broad north­ern ac­cent.

The An­drew Marr show shared a clip on Twit­ter, prompt­ing one user to re­ply: “I do hope this woman doesn’t be­come re­spon­si­ble for ed­u­ca­tion, she can’t even speak English prop­erly.”

But the Labour front­bencher was quick to re­spond and de­fend her north­ern ac­cent, promptly shut­ting the tweeter down telling them she would ‘not be chang­ing’ the way she speaks.

She wrote: “A nice com­ment, I can con­firm I will not be chang­ing the way I speak and I am happy with my ac­cent.

“The vast ma­jor­ity of my con­stituents who I rep­re­sent have a sim­i­lar ac­cent to me, I think re­gional ac­cents are to be cel­e­brated, one par­tic­u­lar favourite is the North-East ac­cent.”

Her re­ply was met with praise and sup­port from thou­sands, with more than 3,400 likes and 800 plus retweets.

Fel­low Twit­ter user Nick Rosen­thal said: “I am pro­foundly shocked that any­one should think a per­son’s abil­ity can be judged by their ac­cent.

“His com­ments say far more about him than they do about you, An­gela.”

Dianne Hat­ton wrote: “You go girl, I love the ac­cent.”

An­other per­son added: “Good grief. This Cock­ney un­der­stand you per­fectly, An­gela. You’re the bees knees.”

Ms Rayner was elected to serve Ash­ton-un­der­Lyne in 2015 and was the first woman MP in the con­stituency’s 180-year his­tory. She grew up in Wythen­shawe and was preg­nant at 16, leav­ing school with no qual­i­fi­ca­tions.

The 38-year-old, who wel­comed her first grand­child last year, later went back to study at Stock­port Col­lege, be­fore se­cur­ing a job as a care worker with Stock­port Coun­cil.

l● Shadow Ed­u­ca­tion sec­re­tary An­gela Rayner

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