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Labour’s deputy leader points to Mark Drakeford as model to follow after English losses

10 May 2021 2 minutes Read
Angela Rayner picture by David Woolfall (CC BY 3.0). Mark Drakeford. Picture by Doubledoppler (CC BY-SA 4.0).

Labour’s deputy leader has pointed to Wales’ First Minister, Mark Drakeford as a model to follow after the party’s losses in the English council elections.

Angela Rayner, who was sacked by party leader Keir Starmer as the party’s chair after the disappointing results but retains the role of deputy leader, said that the party should reconnect with the people it was founded to fight for.

In an article for the The Guardian she pointed to “the need to learn the lessons of last Thursday’s elections” but that there “was good news too, though. The Welsh Labour government was handed a renewed, increased mandate.”

“As a party, we must learn from both our challenges and successes to turn this situation around, so that people feel we speak for them again, and trust us with their votes,” she said.

“That is the lesson from places like Wales, where the first minister, Mark Drakeford, set out policies that will transform people’s lives – like a pay rise for care workers and a guarantee of work, education or training for all under-25s.”

She added: “For too long we have given off an air of talking down to people and telling people what they need, or even what they should want or what they should think.

“There has been too much of Labour doing things for people and communities, and not enough doing things with people and communities. Working-class people don’t want a handout or someone telling us what we should think. We want the opportunities to do it for ourselves.”

Angela Rayner was sacked as party chair by Keir Starmer on Sunday, in a move that prompted an outcry among Labour members.

She was then given the shadow chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster role shadowing Michael Gove, as well as a new post as shadow secretary for the future of work.

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