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26th Sep 2021

Angela Rayner labels Tories “scum” as MPs call for an apology

Danny Jones

Rayner labelled members of the Tory party as “homophobic, racist” and “misogynistic”, but she refuses to apologise until the Prime Minister apologises for his past comments

Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner didn’t hold back when describing her feelings towards the Conservative party as the Labour Party Conference kicked off in Brighton this week.

As reported by multiple outlets, Rayner was quoted as saying: “We cannot get any worse than a bunch of scum, homophobic, racist, misogynistic, absolute pile of banana republic, vile, nasty, Etonian, posh… piece of scum.” The comments are believed to have been made at a Labour reception event on Saturday evening.

Speaking to Trevor Phillips on Sky News this morning, Rayner qualified that she was not labelling those who voted for the Conservatives – even in her own constituency of Ashton-under-Lyne – as sharing these prejudices, but that she believes the Prime Minister and members of his party have acted in this way.

Rayner also went on to explain that calling something “scummy” is a very common phrase used in Northern working-class towns and can be used in different contexts, though she did reiterate that she thinks “anyone who can leave children hungry in a pandemic and can give billions of pounds to their mates on WhatsApp, I think that’s pretty scummy”.

You can watch the full exchange down below.

She was asked multiple times if she would like to apologise for her comments, to which she simply replied that “if the Prime Minister wants to remove himself from those comments”, citing examples such as Johnson referring to Muslim women “letterboxes”, then she is “quite happy to apologise for calling him scum.”

When interviewed on The Andrew Marr Show following the comments, party leader Sir Keir Starmer was asked his opinion on her comments, to which he replied: “Well, Angela and I take different approaches and that is not language that I would use”, adding that he will be “talk to her later on”.

Meanwhile, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps labelled Rayner’s own comments “appalling”, adding that they have “no place in public life”, and F0reign Office Minister Amanda Milling said it was “completely unacceptable” and “she needs to apologise”.

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