Angela Rayner: Labour has talked down to voters for too long


abour must stop talking down to voters, deputy leader Angela Rayner has said in the wake of the party’s damaging election losses.

Ms Rayner set out on Monday how Labour must change to reconnect with working class voters after the crushing defeat in the Hartlepool by-election.

Her comments came after she was given greater authority within the shadow cabinet following intense criticism of Sir Keir Starmer’s initial move to strip her of key roles as party chairwoman and campaign co-ordinator.

The Labour leader told his reshuffled top team that he takes full responsibility for the electoral failings as he met them for the first time since last week’s losses.

Ms Rayner was eventually given a new job shadowing Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove after furious accusations Sir Keir was trying to scapegoat her.

She was also made shadow first secretary of state, effectively making her the shadow deputy prime minister.

Writing in the Guardian, Ms Rayner said: “We have got to change how the Labour Party operates, how it talks and how it relates to the people and communities that we seek to serve and represent.

“For too long we have given off an air of talking down to people and telling people what they need, or even what they should want or what they should think.

“There has been too much of Labour doing things for people and communities, and not enough doing things with people and communities.

“Working-class people don’t want a handout or someone telling us what we should think. We want the opportunities to do it for ourselves.”


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