Labour civil war: Rayner issues warning as party ‘like bald men fighting over combs’

Boris Johnson warns Starmer of ‘hungry’ Angela Rayner

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Ms Rayner warned Labour will not be in power “for a very long time” until the internal bickering stops. She also hit out at a “small group” keeping the party in a state of civil war.

Ms Rayner told Politico: “Where we’re actually talking to the voters, we’re doing really well.

“But there is a small group that get the headlines that are just in a power struggle.

“And that’s nonsense – because we’re not in power in Westminster!

“And we won’t be in power in Westminster for a very long time, until we start realising that we look like bald men fighting over combs.”

Ms Rayner’s comments come after Labour’s crushing defeat in the Hartlepool by-election earlier this month.

The party also lost 267 councillors, while the Conservatives gained 294, in the English council elections.

Following the humiliating drubbing, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer started a reshuffle of his shadow cabinet over the following weekend.

The botched reshuffle initially saw Ms Rayner sacked but then promoted.

Amid accusations the Labour leader was trying to make her scapegoat, it was announced late on Sunday she would be given a new role shadowing Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove.

During an interview with the BBC on Tuesday, Ms Rayner referred to her “very frank relationship” with Sir Keir.

She said: “I’m not going to discuss the robust conversations that me and Keir have and have always had.

“We have had a very frank relationship and I welcome that, actually, I think it’s really constructive.

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“And we came to a decision over the weekend of where both of us felt I could make the best opportunity and the best of my skills in supporting his leadership, and that’s what I want to do in my new role.”

Ms Rayner also admitted that members of the public did not know what Sir Keir “stood for” before they went to the polls.

She said: “What I heard on the doorstep is that they didn’t know what Keir Starmer stood for, so that’s what I think our challenge is, actually.

“It’s not people briefing, saying we think Keir thinks this, we think Keir thinks that, but actually about what are we doing, what are our policies?”

She said this was partly because the Labour leader had “put the country first” and acted as a “constructive opposition” to the Government during the pandemic.

The election results were a major setback for Sir Keir as the party tries to recover from its general election defeat under his predecessor Jeremy Corbyn, which was its worst since 1935.

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