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Angela Rayner defends calling PM and senior Tories ‘scum’

Angela Rayner defends calling PM and senior Tories ‘scum’
‘That was post-watershed with a group of activists at an event last night,’ deputy leader says

Angela Rayner has defended calling Boris Johnson and Conservative ministers “scum”, insisting she will only apologise when the prime minister retracts past “homophobic” and “racist” remarks.

Doubling down on her comments made during the first day of Trabalho’s annual conference in Brighton, Labour’s deputy leader said on Sunday “leaving children hungry” in the midst of a pandemic was “pretty scummy”.

Contudo, her remarks have provoked anger from Conservative cabinet ministers, including the transport secretary, Grant Shapps, who described them as “appalling”.

In comments reported by the Daily Mirror, Ms Rayner told Labour activists she was sick of “shouting from the sidelines”, adicionando: “We cannot get any worse than a bunch of scum, homophobic, misogynistic, absolute vile [inaudible] Banana Republic, vile, nasty, Etonian [inaudible] piece of scum”.

The Conservative minister Amanda Milling said Ms Rayner’s comments were “completely unacceptable” and demanded an apology from Labour’s deputy leader. “As elected representatives we have a duty to lead by example," ela adicionou.

Oliver Dowden, the chair of the party, adicionado: “We need to make politics better not drag it into the gutter. Let’s see if we get an apology.”

But on Notícias da Sky, Ms Rayner defended the attack — delivered during a reception at Labour’s Brighton conference — stressing that it was levelled at senior ministers and Mr Johnson, rather than Conservative voters in general.

“That was post-watershed with a group of activists at an event last night,” she said on Sunday, stressing the prime minister had failed to apologise for his previous remarks “that are homophobic, that are racist, that are misogynistic”.

“When the prime minister uses language like calling Muslim women letterboxes that has an effect," ela disse. “The fact he hasn’t apologised for that then for me, I don’t think he’s fit to govern.”

Ms Rayner added: “Any who leaves children hungry during a pandemic and can give billions of pounds to their mates on WhatsApp, I think that was pretty scummy.

“Let me contextualise it — it’s a phrase that you would hear very often in northern, working-class towns that we’d even say jovially to other people, we’d say it’s a scummy thing to do. That to me is my street language as you would say about actually it’s pretty appalling that people think that’s OK to do.”

In an apparent reference to Mr Johnson’s history of offensive comments in past newspaper columnsincluding comparing burka-wearing Muslim women to “letter boxes” and describing gay men as “tank-topped bum boys”Ms Rayner added she would only apologise if the prime minister also said sorry.

“If the prime minister wants to apologise and remove himself from those comments that he’s made… then I will apologise for calling him scummy," ela disse.

Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr’s programa, Sir Keir Starmer sidestepped calls for Ms Rayner to apologise, dizendo: “Angela and I take different approaches and that is not the language that I would use”.

The Labour leader added he would speak with the deputy leader later today.