Rayner was 'expressing real emotion' and 'humanity' in Tory 'scum' rant, says McDonnell

26 September 2021, 12:20 | Updated: 26 September 2021, 12:40

John McDonnell defends Angela Rayner

By Sophie Barnett

Former Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has defended the deputy leader's Tory 'scum' rant saying she was "expressing real emotion" and "deep down humanity".

Speaking to Tom Swarbrick live from the Labour party conference in Brighton, the MP for Hayes and Harlington said Sir Keir Starmer needs to "get angry" and take a leaf out of Angela Rayner's book.

He said he didn't agree with the language used by Ms Rayner, who branded senior Tory ministers "scum, homophobic, racist and misogynistic" after the water-shed on Saturday evening.

The former Shadow Chancellor said: "She might have gone over the top with the language and all the rest of it, but she was expressing real emotion.

"We have to be disciplined about the language, but you've got to see where she is coming from and I feel quite angry myself... you can see how angry she is with the Tories.

"I think she is showing her humanity...she is showing deep down humanity."

Read more: Nandy refuses to defend Rayner after she blasts senior Tories as 'scum'

John McDonnell has come to Angela Rayner's defence.
John McDonnell has come to Angela Rayner's defence. Picture: LBC

Mr McDonnell rode to Ms Rayner's defence, adding that Sir Keir Starmer "needs to start getting angry aswell".

"He needs to put his foot down," said Mr McDonnell.

Grilled by Tom as to whether he thinks the Labour leader is capable, Mr McDonnell said he "thinks he is".

It comes after Lisa Nandy refused to defend Ms Rayner's comments, saying: "I don’t tend to insult people in politics, I tend to try and win the argument."

The Labour conference is in its second day and comes to a close on Wednesday.

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