Angela Rayner claims Jeremy Corbyn ‘didn’t command respect’

Labour deputy leadership hopeful Angela Rayner says Jeremy Corbyn ‘didn’t command country’s respect’ as John McDonnell desperately pleads with members not to ditch his hard-Left policies

Angela Rayner has attacked Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the Labour PartyThe deputy leadership frontrunner said Mr Corbyn ‘did not command respect’Meanwhile, John McDonnell urged party members not to ditch hard-Left policiesThe shadow chancellor wants Rebecca Long-Bailey to win the leadership race 

Angela Rayner has launched a savage attack on Jeremy Corbyn as she suggested he had failed as Labour leader because he ‘didn’t command respect’. 

The shadow education secretary, who is the current favourite to win the Labour deputy leadership, said Mr Corbyn had been unable to unite the party. 

She also insisted she could succeed where Mr Corbyn had struggled because she ‘resonates with people in the country in a way that Jeremy doesn’t’. 

Ms Rayner’s harsh comments are likely to take the current party leadership off guard given that she has previously been a loyal supporter of Mr Corbyn. 

Her intervention came as John McDonnell issued a plea to Labour members not to ditch the politics of the hard-Left as he urged them to back Rebecca Long-Bailey in the leadership race. 

Mr McDonnell, the shadow chancellor, said Labour needed to ‘learn the right lessons’ from its general election disaster in December but that must not mean ‘slowly retreating’ from the policies advocated by Mr Corbyn. 

His comments in an email to party activists will be seen as a direct shot across the bows of Sir Keir Starmer who is the favoured candidate of Labour moderates in the battle to replace Mr Corbyn.

Mr McDonnell and his allies will be concerned that their grip on the party appears to be waning with Sir Keir the prohibitive favourite to win the top job. 

Angela Rayner, pictured at a hustings event in Durham on February 23, said Jeremy Corbyn ‘didn’t command respect’

John McDonnell, pictured in London on February 20, has urged Labour members not to ditch the policies advocated by Mr Corbyn

John McDonnell, pictured in London on February 20, has urged Labour members not to ditch the policies advocated by Mr Corbyn

Voting in the Labour leadership and deputy leadership contests began yesterday and will conclude on April 2 with a winner due to be announced at a special event on April 4. 

Starmer opens door to Labour return for Alastair Campbell 

Sir Keir Starmer has suggested he would welcome Tony Blair’s former spin doctor Alastair Campbell back into the party.

The Labour leadership frontrunner said Mr Campbell, who was expelled last year after he admitted voting for the Liberal Democrats in the European elections, had made a ‘huge contribution’ to Labour.

He contrasted the rapid way the party had dealt with Mr Campbell’s case with its approach to complaints of anti-Semitism, amid persistent accusations that it had been too slow to act.

‘Look, I want anybody who wants to be in our party to be in the party. Alastair is a constituent of mine. And he was a long-standing Labour member, (he made) a huge contribution to the party,’ he told HuffPost.

‘I think we need to get past this whole question of chucking people out and expulsions, etc. The cases we should concentrate on are cases, for example, of anti-Semitism or other racist behaviour within the party.

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