Labour sacks Angela Rayner as party chairman in aftermath of election results
and live on Freeview channel 276
Labour election recriminations have begun after the MP for Ashton-under-Lyne was axed from the position this evening, Saturday, May 8, following on from a series of defeats across the local elections.
The party also lost the Hartlepool constituency to the Conservative Party, turning it blue for the first since since its inception in the 1970s, with Jill Mortimer elected into the role.
The by-election was sparked when Labour’s Mike Hill resigned from the role in March.
Ms Rayner, who is also Shadow First Secretary of State, had visited Hartlepool on a number of occasions in the lead up to the election, lending her support for the party’s candidate Dr Paul Williams.
She had also joined the party leader at other events in the North East as they united on the campaign trial in the run up to Thursday, May 6.
The sacking signals cracks at the top of the party, with rows over who was to blame for the election strategy.
Speaking yesterday, leader Sir Keir Starmer said he was saddened by the results, vowing to face the heat and to fix Labour’s election woes.
Following the election result in Hartlepool, he said: “I’m bitterly disappointed in the result and I take full responsibility for the results – and I will take full responsibility for fixing this.
“We have changed as a party but we haven’t set out a strong enough case to the country.
“Very often we have been talking to ourselves instead of to the country and we have lost the trust of working people, particularly in places like Hartlepool.
“I intend to do whatever is necessary to fix that.”
Former shadow chancellor John McDonnell said the decision to remove Ms Rayner as Labour’s chairman and campaigns chief was a “cowardly avoidance of responsibility”.
The senior party figure tweeted: “Keir Starmer said yesterday that he took full responsibility for the election result in Hartlepool and other losses.
“Instead today he’s scapegoating everyone apart from himself.
“This isn’t leadership, it’s a cowardly avoidance of responsibility.”