|Deputy Leader of the Opposition[a]|
Shadow First Secretary of State[b]
|Assumed office |
9 April 2020
|Preceded by||Emily Thornberry|
|Deputy Leader of the Labour Party|
|Assumed office |
4 April 2020
|Preceded by||Tom Watson|
|Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office|
Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster
|Assumed office |
9 May 2021
|Preceded by||Rachel Reeves|
|Shadow Secretary of State for the Future of Work|
|Assumed office |
9 May 2021
|Preceded by||Office established|
|Member of Parliament|
|Assumed office |
7 May 2015
|Preceded by||David Heyes|
28 March 1980
Stockport, Greater Manchester, England
(m. 2010; sep. 2020)
|Alma mater||Stockport College|
Angela Rayner (née Bowen; born 28 March 1980) is a British politician serving as Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office and Shadow Secretary of State for the Future of Work since 2021. She has been Shadow First Secretary of State, Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Deputy Leader of the Labour Party since 2020. Rayner has been Member of Parliament (MP) for Ashton-under-Lyne since 2015. She ideologically identifies as a socialist and as being part of Labour's soft left.
Rayner was born and raised in Stockport, where she attended the state secondary Avondale School. She left school aged 16 whilst pregnant and without any qualifications. She later trained in social care at Stockport College and worked for the local council as a care worker. She eventually became a trade union representative within Unison, during which time she joined the Labour Party. Selected to contest Ashton‑under‑Lyne in 2014 and elected for the seat at the 2015 general election, she was appointed as Shadow Minister for Pensions by Jeremy Corbyn in January 2016.
Rayner was promoted in July 2016 to the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities. As Shadow Education Secretary, she proposed the creation of a National Education Service modelled on the National Health Service (NHS). She endorsed Rebecca Long-Bailey in the 2020 Labour Party leadership election, who came second to Keir Starmer, then successfully stood for the deputy leadership, after which she was appointed as party chair and national campaign coordinator. She was removed from these roles in a reshuffle following Labour's poor performance at the 2021 local elections, subsequently being appointed as Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Shadow Secretary of State for the Future of Work.
Early life and career
Rayner was born on 28 March 1980 in Stockport, Greater Manchester. She attended Avondale School in Stockport, leaving the school aged 16 after becoming pregnant, and did not obtain any qualifications. She later studied part-time at Stockport College, learning British Sign Language, and gaining an NVQ Level 2 in social care.
After leaving college, Rayner worked for Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council as a care worker for a number of years. During this time, she was also elected as a trade union representative for Unison. She was later elected as convenor of Unison North West, becoming the union's most senior official in the region. The Guardian featured a lengthy profile of Rayner in 2012, as part of an article on a trade union officer's working life.
Member of Parliament
In September 2014, Rayner was selected as the Labour Party's candidate for Ashton-under-Lyne, on the retirement of David Heyes. She won the seat at the 2015 general election, increasing the Labour majority and its share of the vote. She delivered her maiden speech on 2 June 2015.
On 1 July 2016, after a series of resignations from the shadow cabinet, Corbyn appointed Rayner as Shadow Secretary of State for Education. She supported the notion of a 'National Education Service' to be modelled along similar lines to the National Health Service (NHS), also promoting an increase in funding for early years education. She was considered by some as a possible future Labour leader.
In the 2019 general election, Rayner was returned as MP for the third time in five years. She did not stand for the Labour leadership in the 2020 leadership election, supporting her flatmate Rebecca Long-Bailey, who came second to Keir Starmer. She stood successfully for Deputy Leader, elected on 4 April 2020, replacing Tom Watson. She was appointed Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Shadow First Secretary of State and Chair of the Labour Party in the following days. In October 2020 Rayner called Conservative MP Chris Clarkson "scum" as he was giving a speech in Parliament. She later apologised. Clarkson had been critical of Andy Burnham, who had been seeking financial support for Greater Manchester following local restrictions on businesses being introduced. Clarkson's constituency falls within the boundaries of Greater Manchester, as does Rayner's.
Rayner was removed from her roles as the Labour Party's chair and national campaign coordinator in a reshuffle by Starmer on 8 May 2021, following the 2021 local elections. Rayner was subsequently appointed as Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Shadow Secretary of State for the Future of Work.
In September 2021, Rayner strongly criticised senior members of the Conservative Party, stating: "We cannot get any worse than a bunch of scum, homophobic, racist, misogynistic, absolute pile... of banana republic... Etonian... piece of scum". Some Labour MPs, while saying it was not the language that they would have used, defended her comments, including Steve Reed, John McDonnell and Lisa Nandy. Starmer distanced himself from her remarks, but said it was up to Rayner if she wanted to apologise or not, while other Labour MPs, including shadow cabinet ministers, condemned her in stronger terms.
The former Labour cabinet minister Lord Adonis said that if Rayner did not apologise for her comments, Starmer should say that he no longer has confidence in her as the deputy leader of the party. Adonis told Times Radio that her remarks were a way to start an election campaign for the leadership of the Labour Party. Several Conservative MPs, including Grant Shapps, Amanda Milling and Oliver Dowden, condemned her comments. Rayner later apologised for her comments in light of the murder of David Amess, a Conservative MP, the following month.
In October 2021, Rayner reported receiving a number of death threats and abusive messages. The police arrested a 52-year-old man in Halifax. She cancelled a number of meetings with her constituents due to fears for her own safety. Later, a 36-year-old man from Cambridgeshire was sentenced after sending her a threatening email. The man pleaded guilty in court to sending the email and was sentenced to 15 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months. Earlier in March 2019, Rayner said that she had fitted panic buttons at her home after rape and death threats were sent to her.
On 24 April 2022 Rayner was the subject of a report in The Mail on Sunday, by Glen Owen, in which it was alleged that she had tried to distract Boris Johnson in the Commons by crossing and uncrossing her legs in a similar manner to Sharon Stone in a scene from the 1992 film Basic Instinct. The report was subsequently condemned by a range of voices across the political spectrum including the Prime Minister and the Speaker of the House. The Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) reported that it had received 5,500 complaints about the article and was exploring possible breaches of its code of practice. Lia Nici, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, later repeated the claims in a BBC interview.
In May 2022, Rayner said she would resign if she received a fixed penalty notice for breaching COVID-19 regulations while campaigning during the run-up to the Hartlepool by-election and local elections the previous year. The controversy surrounding the event was dubbed "Beergate". They were both cleared by Durham Police in July 2022 who said there was "no case to answer".
Rayner identifies as a socialist. In a 2017 interview to The Guardian discussing her political beliefs, Rayner highlighted her pragmatism, describing herself as being part of the "soft left" of the Labour Party. She has strongly criticised former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, as he "did not command the respect of the party", and critiqued his lack of "discipline" when it came to dealing with allegations of antisemitism.
Rayner has described herself as "quite hardline" on law and order issues, having suffered from antisocial behaviour when she was young. In an interview, she said police should "shoot your terrorists and ask questions second" and that she had told her local police force to "beat down the door of the criminals and sort them out and antagonise them."
A member of the Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East, Rayner has condemned the killings of Palestinians during the Great March of Return and has repeatedly cited Israeli violations of human rights against Palestinians on social media.
In 2010, Rayner married Mark Rayner, a Unison official. She has three sons, the first born when she was aged 16. Her second son Charlie was born prematurely at 23 weeks and Rayner says that the care that her son received demonstrated the importance of the NHS to her. Rayner lives in her constituency of Ashton-under-Lyne with her family. She became a grandmother in November 2017. Rayner and her husband separated in 2020. As of July 2022, it has been reported she is in a relationship with Labour MP Sam Tarry, though this has not been confirmed.
In an interview in 2018, Rayner said that her mother had been unable to read or write; she had previously mentioned this in a tribute she made to her mother in 2016. In a 2022 interview, Rayner said that she grew up in poverty on a council estate and could have been taken into care. In the same interview, she recounted that after a year-long training programme to lose over six stone in weight, she took out a bank loan of £5,600 for cosmetic surgery on her 30th birthday.
- The Labour Party lists Rayner as Shadow First Secretary of State but not Deputy Leader of the Opposition. However, parliament.uk and TheyWorkForYou list Rayner as Deputy Leader of the Opposition but not Shadow First Secretary of State.
- In September 2021, Dominic Raab was promoted from First Secretary of State to Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. However, Rayner was not promoted to Shadow Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom by Keir Starmer. Rayner currently serves as Shadow First Secretary of State but not Shadow Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
- "Keir Starmer appoints Labour frontbench". The Labour Party. 9 April 2020. Archived from the original on 5 September 2020. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
- 'RAYNER, Angela', Who's Who 2017, A & C Black; online edn, Oxford University Press, 2016 accessed 5 October 2017 Archived 29 October 2021 at the Wayback Machine
- "Not bad for a ginger kid!". Oldham Chronicle. 11 November 2014. Archived from the original on 19 August 2016. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
- Newman, Cathy (29 September 2016). "Teen mum turned Labour MP: Why Angela Rayner should have the Tories running scared". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 30 September 2016.
- Rayner, Angela (12 November 2019). "Education Gave Me A Vital Second Chance That Too Many People Still Don't Get". HuffPost UK. Archived from the original on 16 September 2021. Retrieved 16 September 2021.
- "Exclusive: Angela Rayner becomes third shadow education secretary in a week". Schools Week. 1 July 2016. Archived from the original on 11 July 2016. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
- Fitzgerald, Todd (7 August 2015). "Commons vow by new Ashton MP Angela Rayner who was told she'd amount to nothing". Manchester Evening News. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 13 August 2016.
- "A working life: the Union Official". The Guardian. 17 February 2012. Archived from the original on 16 February 2017.
- "New Labour candidate: We need real people with life experience to bring common sense to Parliament". Manchester Evening News. 8 September 2014. Archived from the original on 15 September 2014.
- "Ashton-under-Lyne". BBC News Online. Archived from the original on 11 May 2015.
- Angela Rayner's maiden speech in the Commons, retrieved 30 December 2022
- "Tuesday 2 June 2015". UK Parliament.
- Pine, Sarah (27 June 2016). "Corbyn addresses crowd of up to 10,000 on eve of confidence vote". LabourList. Archived from the original on 1 July 2016. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
- England's schools face 'severe' teacher shortage Archived 30 August 2018 at the Wayback Machine BBC News. 20 August 2018
- "Labour to outline plans for National Education Service and 'cradle to grave' learning". 26 September 2017. Archived from the original on 8 November 2017.
- Moss, Stephen (28 July 2017). "Labour's Angela Rayner: 'I'm proper working-class and Jeremy Kyle'". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 28 July 2017. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
- Eaton, George (19 May 2017). "The irresistible rise of Angela Rayner". New Statesman. Archived from the original on 26 September 2017.
- "Angela Rayner MP". UK Parliament. Archived from the original on 20 October 2020. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
- "Keir Starmer announces senior Shadow Cabinet appointments". The Labour Party. Archived from the original on 3 July 2020. Retrieved 30 May 2020.
- "Keir Starmer appoints Labour frontbench". labour.org.uk. Archived from the original on 5 September 2020. Retrieved 9 April 2020.
- "Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner under fire for 'calling a Tory MP scum'". The Independent. 21 October 2020. Archived from the original on 27 October 2020. Retrieved 21 October 2020.
- "Angela Rayner apologises for 'scum' remark in Commons". BBC News. 21 October 2020. Archived from the original on 22 October 2020. Retrieved 21 October 2020.
- Murphy, Simon (21 October 2020). "Angela Rayner apologises for calling Tory MP 'scum' in Commons". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 22 October 2020. Retrieved 21 October 2020.
- "Privy Council appointments: 12 February 2021". GOV.UK. Archived from the original on 12 February 2021. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
- "Angela Rayner sacked as Labour Party chair by Sir Keir Starmer, Sky News understands". Sky News. Archived from the original on 8 May 2021. Retrieved 8 May 2021.
- Bush, Stephen (8 May 2021). "Keir Starmer's sacking of Angela Rayner is self-destructive, stupid and wrong". New Statesman. Archived from the original on 8 May 2021. Retrieved 8 May 2021.
- "Meet our Shadow Cabinet". The Labour Party. Retrieved 20 December 2021.
- Fisher, Lucy (26 September 2021). "Angela Rayner rebuked by Keir Starmer for branding Tories 'scum'". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 26 September 2021. Retrieved 26 September 2021.(subscription required)
- "Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner refuses to apologise for calling senior Tories 'scum'". ITV News. 26 September 2021. Archived from the original on 28 September 2021. Retrieved 28 September 2021.
- "Angela Rayner rebuked by Keir Starmer for branding Tories 'scum'". The Daily Telegraph. 26 September 2021. Archived from the original on 26 September 2021. Retrieved 26 September 2021.
- Courea, Eleni (27 September 2021). "Keir Starmer refuses to back Angela Rayner over 'Tory scum' comment". The Times. Archived from the original on 28 September 2021. Retrieved 28 September 2021.(subscription required)
- Cowburn, Ashley (27 September 2021). "Labour conference: Angela Rayner defends calling PM and senior Tories 'scum'". The Independent. Archived from the original on 28 September 2021. Retrieved 28 September 2021.
- Woodcock, Andrew (28 October 2021). "Angela Rayner apologises for calling Conservatives 'scum'". The Independent. Archived from the original on 28 October 2021. Retrieved 28 October 2021.
- Lyons, Izzy; Yorke, Harry (27 October 2021). "Angela Rayner bombarded with 'death threats and abusive messages'". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Archived from the original on 28 October 2021. Retrieved 28 October 2021.
- "Angela Rayner: Man sentenced for threats to Labour deputy leader". BBC News. 28 October 2021. Archived from the original on 29 October 2021. Retrieved 29 October 2021.
- Sabbagh, Dan (4 March 2019). "Angela Rayner has panic buttons fitted after online threats". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 4 March 2019. Retrieved 4 March 2019.
- "Angela Rayner: MPs hit back over claims of 'Basic Instinct' tactics to distract PM". BBC News. 25 April 2022.
- "Angela Rayner: Tory source of misogyny claims would be punished, PM says". BBC News. 25 April 2022.
- "New minister Lia Nici repeats Angela Rayner legs slur". BBC News. 10 July 2022. Retrieved 10 July 2022.
- Sparrow, Andrew (9 May 2022). "Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner to resign if fined over Beergate claims". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 May 2022.
- Culbertson, Alix (6 May 2022). "Beergate: Sir Keir Starmer insists there was 'no party' after Durham Police say they will investigate claims he broke lockdown rules". Sky News.
- Whannel, Kate (8 July 2022). "Sir Keir Starmer cleared by police over Durham lockdown beers". BBC News.
- Moss, Stephen (28 July 2017). "Labour's Angela Rayner: 'Ideology never put food on my table'". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 28 July 2017. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
- Proctor, Kate (6 January 2020). "Angela Rayner: I'm a socialist but not a 'Corbynite'". Archived from the original on 13 September 2020. Retrieved 5 July 2020.
- Mason, Rowena (24 February 2020). "Angela Rayner: Corbyn did not command respect from Labour". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 17 September 2020. Retrieved 5 July 2020.
- Elgot, Jessica (17 February 2022). "Angela Rayner: police should 'shoot terrorists and ask questions second'". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 February 2022.
- Diver, Tony (4 July 2022). "Angela Rayner: I won't let Parliament correct my working-class grammar". The Telegraph – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
- Birawi, Zaher; Andrews, Robert (14 April 2020). "Keir Starmer as Labour Party leader: What this means for Palestine". Middle East Monitor. Archived from the original on 12 June 2020. Retrieved 30 May 2020.
- "UK unions blast Education Secretary over controversial reforms". Equal Times. 30 April 2013. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015.
- "Grangela: Labour's Angela Rayner is grandmother at 37". BBC News. 22 November 2017. Archived from the original on 22 November 2017.
- Sylvester, Rachel; Thomson, Alice (24 September 2021). "Angela Rayner: 'I find it difficult feeling happy'". The Sunday Times. Archived from the original on 25 September 2021. Retrieved 26 September 2021.
She met her husband, Mark Rayner, through the trade union movement. They are now separated. [...]
- "Shadow ministers question Labour's stance on strikes after Tarry sacking". The Guardian. 27 July 2022. Retrieved 27 July 2022.
- Diver, Tony; Turner, Camilla; Gill, Oliver (27 July 2022). "Keir Starmer sacks Angela Rayner's shadow minister boyfriend for joining rail strike picket line". The Daily Telegraph.
- Burford, Rachael (25 August 2022). "Labour MP Sam Tarry lashes out as he loses reselection battle". Evening Standard. Retrieved 10 October 2022.
- "Labour MP Angela Rayner's tribute to her 'inspirational' mother". inews.co.uk. 24 September 2016. Archived from the original on 25 September 2018. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
- Pickard, Jim (11 November 2022). "Angela Rayner: 'Normally I say, "play the ball not the man". But Boris was literally the ball and the man'". Financial Times. Retrieved 12 November 2022.
- "Angela Rayner borrowed £5,600 for cosmetic surgery after shedding 'baby weight'". Sky News. 12 November 2022.