Rayner splits Labour Party with scum attack as Nandy warns jab not winning us election

Lisa Nandy reacts to Angela Rayner’s ‘scum’ comments

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Angela Rayner launched into an explosive rant at the Tories as she met with activists following her first speech at the 2021 Labour Party Conference on Sunday. Labour’s deputy leader branded members of Boris Johnson’s Government “a bunch of scum, homophobic, racist, misogynistic, absolute pile of banana republic, vile, nasty, Etonian, posh… piece of scum.” The outburst sparked the criticism of shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy, who warned foul language would not help Labour win against the Conservatives.

Speaking to LBC, Ms Nandy said: “Did she say she held back a little? Well…

“I mean, it’s not the language that I would use. I don’t tend to insult people in politics, I tend to try and win the argument.

“And I think the way that Labour is going to win a general election is not to have a row about the Tories or call them names.

“The way we’re going to win the election is to make sure we provide not just an opposition but an alternative.”

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Asked whether she condemned her colleague for how she referred to members of Government, Ms Nandy said: “It’s just not the way I do politics.

“I’m really angry with what the Tories have done in this country, I think I’m as angry as Angela is.

“It breaks my heart when I see some of the things that are happening back home in Wigan – but that just makes me redouble my effort not to have a row about the Tories but actually to convince people to put their trust in us again.”

Labour leader Keir Starmer also distanced himself from the comments Ms Rayner made but it said responding to calls for an apology was a matter for his deputy to address.

Angela Rayner defends describing Tories as "scummy"

He said: “Angela and I take different approaches and that’s not language that I would use.”

Confronted about her outburst, Ms Rayner said her comments were an attempt to get across the “anger and frustration” felt about Mr Johnson and the Cabinet.

She said: “Anyone who leaves children hungry during a pandemic and can give billions of pounds to their mates on WhatsApp, I think that was pretty scummy.”

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The Ashton-under-Lyne MP said her attack was made in the “street language” of her northern working-class roots.

In an apparent reference to Mr Johnson’s history of outspoken comments – including comparing burka-wearing Muslim women to “letterboxes” and describing gay men as “tank-topped bum boys” – Ms Rayner said she would only apologise if the Prime Minister also said sorry.

“I’m saying the Prime Minister has said those things and acted in that way.

“If the Prime Minister wants to apologise and remove himself from those comments he has made that are homophobic, that are racist, that are misogynistic, I will apologise for calling him scummy.”

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