Angela Rayner blasted over ‘unwise’ comparison by ex-Labour MP amid Deputy Labour Leader's ‘cast iron’ promises

Angela Rayner blasted over ‘unwise’ comparison by ex-Labour MP amid Deputy Labour Leader's ‘cast iron’ promises

Simon Danczuk has criticised the Labour deputy leader

Ben Chapman

By Ben Chapman

Published: 22/09/2023

- 22:06

The Labour deputy leader likened herself to Barbara Castle

Angela Rayner has been criticised for her decision to compare herself to the “iconic” Barbara Castle.

Former Labour MP Simon Danczuk says it was an “unwise” move from the Labour Deputy leader who has hit headlines for making “cast iron” commitments to trade unions.

In a BBC interview, Rayner likened herself to fellow “ginger northerner” Castle, who ran forty major ministries for Labour during the 1960s and 1970s.

Speaking on GB News, Danczuk said Rayner does not fit any of the descriptions he affords Castle.

Angela Rayner and Simon Danczuk

Danczuk has hit out at Angela Rayner


“Barbara Castle was a famous 60s and 70s politician”, he told Lee Anderson.

“She was a highly intelligent, sophisticated, regal politician.


“Angela doesn’t fit any of those descriptions, I’m afraid.”

It comes after Rayner offered a steadfast commitment to the scrappage of zero-hour contracts in a speech to the TUC Congress.

She told delegates she had one message – that a Labour government will build an economy that works for workers through its promised “new deal”.

“Labour will start by bringing forward an Employment Rights Bill to legislate for this within the first 100 days of entering office. That is a cast iron commitment," she said.

Angela RaynerAngela Rayner is increasingly in the media eyePA

“Labour’s New Deal for Working People will transform ordinary working people’s lives.

“Work will finally pay, rights will be properly enforced, and crucially it will strengthen the role of trade unions in our society.”

She outlined plans to update union laws, outlaw blacklisting, give unions a new legal right to access to workplaces, making it easier to recruit and represent workers, and allow electronic balloting.

Rayner – a former social worker – also announced there would be a “fair pay agreement” for workers in adult social care, which she believes will make a big difference to low-paid workers in the sector.

Labour also supports an investigation into the violent events at Orgreave during the miners’ strike.

Rayner added: “We’ll bring in a proper living wage that people can actually live on.

“The State will take a more strategic and active role in our economy by fixing the UK’s broken labour market, giving businesses the confidence they need to invest in our infrastructure and people once more.”

She appealed to unions to stand with Labour in the run-up to the election and campaign “side by side”.

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