BoJo would find it challenging facing Angela Rayner

BoJo would find it challenging facing Angela Rayner

I just wonder whether a LAB leadership contest could be much closer than we think. Ahead of the party conference Starmer is proposing a change in the leadership election rules and prominent figures like Sadiq Khan have come out against. If Starmer fails to get this through he would look even more weakened than he does at the moment.

By associating himself so closely on the rule change it could make the conference vote less about the issue itself but a vote on Sir Keir.

I write this as someone who rates Starmer higher than most people on PB but it has to be recognised that he just isn’t cutting through.

In the next leader betting the failure from the 2010 and 2015 leadership contests, Andy Burnham, is the 28% favourite. Heaven knows why given his lacklustre campaigns. In his 2015 campaign Burnham was criticised for jokingly saying that Labour should have a woman leader “when the time is right” – a comment that would surely haunt him if he did run for the leadership.

To my mind the articulate Angela Rayner, who is second favourite, would be a good choice and would be more of a handful for BoJo to deal with than Starmer. She’s also a northerner and not from London. Yesterday with BoJo in the US she did creditably standing in for Starmer to face Raab. I think Johnson would find her challenging. Because she would be the party’s first ever female leader she’d likely find it easier to ger media coverage.

Mike Smithson

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