A Hartlepool postcard ‘You’re fired’…
Sir Keir Starmer has sacked Angela Rayner from her roles as Labour’s party chair and national campaign coordinator after the humiliating loss of the Hartlepool byelection.
If anyone wondered what all the strange pointing into the distance was from Starmer during this election campaign they know. It was Starmer ready to point the finger at Labour’s failings onto anyone but himself, it was the anticipated ‘Lord Sugar Apprentice-style you’re fired finger’ ready to point out his scapegoat.
The sacking signals cracks at the top of the party, with rows over who was to blame for the election strategy.
Speaking on Friday, leader Sir Keir Starmer said he was “bitterly disappointed” with the results and vowed to take responsibility and to fix Labour’s election woes.
Why then am I reminded of the Dennis Skinner quote on posh boys in trouble:
“When posh boys are in trouble, they sack the servants” – former Labour MP, Dennis Skinner
There is an old saying; “qui cum canibus concumbunt cum pulicibus surgent.” any good Barrister or QC could translate for you or in plain old English:
“If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas”
Unfortunately for Rayner, she’s been lying with dogs for so long many will now treat her like she has fleas.
Rayner may find herself in a very lonely position for awhile.
A shadow minister source has confirmed to Sky news a reshuffle is underway for Labour’s shadow cabinet, and that Ms Rayner has been offered a significant new role. However for us near mortals, it looks very much like after stating he will take full responsibility Starmer has passed the buck.
This isn’t leadership, it’s a cowardly avoidance of responsibility
The party’s performance has sparked recriminations about the direction of the party under Sir Keir’s leadership, with some Labour figures demanding a change in strategy.
John McDonnell, shadow chancellor under Sir Keir’s predecessor Jeremy Corbyn, said Sir Keir was “scapegoating everyone apart from himself”.
He added: “This isn’t leadership, it’s a cowardly avoidance of responsibility.”
Where’s the vision?
When asked about policy and a vision for Labour Sir Keir Starmer stumbled for an answer and could only suggest a policy of stopping the in-fighting… Unfortunately sacking Angler Rynar for his own weak campaign will only escalate the ongoing civil war.
Richard Burgon, who also served in Mr Corbyn’s frontbench team, has called for a special party conference to devise a plan to revive Labour’s fortunes.
“Instead of making progress in the key areas we need to win back, at these elections we’ve gone backwards – this can’t go on,” he wrote on Twitter.
“There should now be a special Labour Party conference where the leadership outlines its plan to turn this around and seeks the confidence of the party for it.”
Andy Burnham, who has been re-elected for a second term as mayor of Greater Manchester, told Sky News that Labour had to do a “lot of soul searching” about its performance in this set of elections.
In a message to leader Sir Keir, he said the party “needs to change” and it “can’t just be cosmetic changes”.
And he did not completely rule out another bid for the top job himself, saying: “In the distant future, if the party were ever to feel it needed me, well I’m here and they should get in touch.”