ANDREW PIERCE’s Labor Conference Diary: Angela Rayner’s war chest is open for gold

ANDREW PIERCE’s Labor Conference Diary: Angela Rayner’s war chest is open for gold


During her successful campaign to be Labour’s deputy leader last year, Angela Rayner raised donations of £ 185,000 from supporters.

They included £ 60,000 from three unions and £ 50,000 from media entrepreneur and Labor colleague Waheed Alli – one of the few openly gay Muslim politicians in the world.

The money was channeled to a company called Angela Rayner Ltd.

Oddly enough, 18 months later, while other graduates such as Brent MP Dawn Butler has since closed their respective donation companies, Mrs Rayners is still dealing with the latest accounts to be released next week.

During her successful campaign to be Labor's deputy leader last year, Angela Rayner (pictured) raised £ 185,000 donations from supporters

During her successful campaign to be Labour’s deputy leader last year, Angela Rayner (pictured) raised £ 185,000 donations from supporters

All eyes are on the naughty deputy – if ‘Am I bovvered?’ attitude after her highly reprimanded ‘bunch of foam’ comments about senior Tories on Saturday has caused a stir – with whispers here at the conference on renewed leadership ambitions.

By keeping her business in business, she definitely has the financial means for yet another tilt at the top job.

I-Spy: At the alternative The World Transformed conference here in Brighton, ardent supporters of Jeremy Corbyn gather every day to condemn Starmer’s leadership.

At a pub quiz hosted by Labor MP Zarah Sultana while Corbynistas hid in ‘organic oyster mushroom tacos’ and ‘gluten-free arbel almond salsa’, every mention of Tony Blair’s name was mocked. Sultana called him a ‘war criminal’ based on singing from the crowd of ‘Lock him in!’

There were questions about the communist manifesto and contemporary music – shouts from ‘Ohhh Zarah Sultana’ to the tune of The White Stripes’ ‘Seven Nation Army’ filled the air. Top prize? A jar of Corbyn’s homemade jam.

While second place picked up a signed copy of former Unite Secretary-General Len McCluskey’s book Always Red. Unsigned copies are said to be even rarer.

Lisa: I do not want to run for office

Shadow Secretary of State Lisa Nandy, who unsuccessfully ran against Sir Keir for leadership, says: ‘I am desperate to get a woman to lead the Labor Party.’

The obvious question, then: would she run again? ‘I do not intend to ever put myself through it again,’ she says. ‘It really makes me want to get under the desk, just thinking about it.

Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy (pictured), who unsuccessfully ran against Sir Keir for leadership, says: 'I am desperate to get a woman to lead the Labor Party'

Shadow Foreign Secretary Lisa Nandy (pictured), who unsuccessfully ran against Sir Keir for leadership, says: ‘I am desperate to get a woman to lead the Labor Party’

‘I hated the way we were lined up against each other.’ Did no one tell her that a leadership contest works by running against each other?

Speaking of book signing, when he autographed his latest book Must Labor Always Lose ?, former MEP and European Minister Denis MacShane had important advice for current leadership: ‘Abolish the party conference, which is no bigger waste of money than this tired collection of vanity and showboating. ‘MacShane never misses a conference.

Former MP Keith Vaz, who last week turned out to have taken part in a ‘hostile and harmful’ bullying campaign against a female official, is due to speak at a fringe event today.

Yes, it’s the same Keith Vaz who offered to buy cocaine for two male prostitutes while the head of the Home Office in 2016. Now that Vaz’s successor in Leicester East, Claudia Webbe has her own problems (accused of harassment), Vaz is said to have hope of regaining his seat.

A shadow minister tells me: ‘Vaz is like the return of a bad smell. If there is a by-election, the party leadership selects the candidate and the chances of Vaz being so are zero. ‘

Let’s hope they’m right.

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