Angela Rayner blasts 'vile Banana Republic scum' in conference attack on Tories

Labour’s deputy leader also said the Tories were homophobic, racist and misogynistic in a late-night fringe speech – that prompted condemnation from Conservatives

Angela Rayner during her conference speech earlier in the day
Angela Rayner during her conference speech earlier in the day

Angela Rayner has launched a furious attack on “scum, homophobic, racist, misogynistic” Tories at an event for Labour members.

The deputy Labour leader gave Boris Johnson’s party both barrels in a late-night fringe at the Labour Party Conference.

Her comments led to angry demands from Conservative politicians for Ms Rayner to apologise, and accusations that she was “talking crap”.

Ms Rayner was speaking at a reception for Labour members in the North West of England at the get-together in Brighton.

She began with jokes about the notorious diet for stressed delegates at the jamboree, saying: “If you are what you eat I’m a pile of s*** tonight because I’ve eaten some pretty dodgy stuff.”

After unveiling a green paper on the future of employment, she said: “There was more meat in my speech today than in a chicken kebab down in Manchester”.

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And she jokingly slapped down a heckler who apparently urged her to challenge Keir Starmer, saying: “You’ve had all the wine that I haven’t had mate!”

It was her closing plea for Labour to get into power that sparked anger from a senior Tory.

Ms Rayner told members “we’re at a cross roads” like in 1945, saying: “We face a global threat again. Many of our comrades haven’t made it.

“Everyone in this room will know somebody who’s been seriously ill or died from Covid. We’ve been through so much and deserve so much better than what we’ve got.”

She added: “I’m sick of shouting from the sidelines and I bet youse lot are as well.

“We cannot get any worse than a bunch of scum, homophobic, racist, misogynistic, absolute vile [inaudible] Banana Republic, vile, nasty, Etonian [inaudible] piece of scum.”

To applause, she added she had “held back a little”.

Ms Rayner touring the fringe circuit last night with Labour leader Keir Starmer


Ian Vogler / Daily Mirror)

Tory minister Amanda Milling said the Labour MP’s remarks were “shocking”, adding: “Angela Rayner must apologise.”

She said Ms Rayner had been former leader Jeremy Corbyn’s “henchman when Labour became embroiled in anti-Semitism” and “she failed to act”.

Fellow Foreign Office minister James Cleverly accused Ms Rayner of “talking crap”. He said: “I’m sure this went down well in the room but when voters look at the party that has had both female PMs, with half of the great offices of state filled by women, half by BAME, most diverse government, more gay ministers than Labour ever had etc.”

During her stump speech Ms Rayner highlighted the examples of Labour in power, including mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham.

She said: “People who left Labour and didn’t feel we’re the answer to the question – we need to win them back.

“It’s really serious because hopefully the stories I tell about my childhood are not so people look at me and say ‘oh, look at her’.

“It’s to say look at what we did, look at what we achieved when we were in government, look at what we can do.”

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