‘Even my own fam­ily felt pa­tro­n­ised by Labour’s elec­tion cam­paign’

Manchester Evening News - - NEWS - By JEN­NIFER WIL­LIAMS jen­nifer.wil­[email protected] @JenWil­liamsMEN

ASH­TON-UN­DER-LYNE MP An­gela Rayner has con­firmed her long-an­tic­i­pated bid to be­come deputy leader, warn­ing mem­bers that Labour faces a choice: “Win or die.”

In a speech in her home town of Stock­port, the for­mer trade union­ist launched a sear­ing cri­tique of the party’s per­for­mance at the gen­eral elec­tion, warn­ing it had talked down to vot­ers and sold them a ‘glib’ se­ries of prom­ises they didn’t trust.

Con­ced­ing that as a se­nior mem­ber of Jeremy Cor­byn’s team she must bear some re­spon­si­bil­ity for that, she said even mem­bers of her own fam­ily had felt pa­tro­n­ised by the way Labour had pitched its mes­sage to them.

But in a speech that of­ten sounded more like a pitch for the lead­er­ship than to be­come deputy, she also said: “I fight to win.”

The shadow ed­u­ca­tion sec­re­tary launched her bid at the com­mu­nity cen­tre in Bridge­hall, the Stock­port es­tate on which she grew up.

“Seats where we suf­fered cat­a­strophic de­feats were seen as se­cure, while we tried to fight ‘tar­get’ seats we had ef­fec­tively al­ready lost,” she said, echo­ing crit­i­cisms ex­pressed pri­vately by many can­di­dates dur­ing the cam­paign it­self. “It can­not hap­pen again.”

Of the party’s of­fer to the elec­torate, she added: “Too of­ten our poli­cies, though right in prin­ci­ple, were seen as glib prom­ises of free things, ‘re­tail of­fers,’ and dis­trusted as much as any other sales pitch. The elec­torate did not take up our of­fer. Time and time again we had peo­ple on the doorstep say­ing they felt pa­tro­n­ised, mem­bers of my own fam­ily very an­gry with me. I couldn’t go to the pub or go to the school gates with­out some­one want­ing to tell me about what they thought we were do­ing.

“As a party we face a choice: win or die,” she said. “And I fight to win.”

Asked why she was en­dors­ing her friend – Sal­ford and Eccles MP Re­becca Long-Bai­ley – for leader rather than run­ning for leader her­self, she said: “It is no se­cret that for years me and Re­becca have been close friends.

“And I wasn’t go­ing to stand for leader and have ev­ery­one in the me­dia and ev­ery­one out­side say­ing ‘who’s the bet­ter woman’? Be­cause ac­tu­ally me and Becky are two fan­tas­tic women.”

An­gela Rayner crit­i­cised Labour’s elec­tion cam­paign dur­ing a speech in Stock­port, in­set

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