Starmer’s sacked PPS Carolyn Harris – even according to allies of Starmer – was “a bit of a liability”, so it is no surprise she has had to go. Or as a statement released by Starmer’s office to The Times put it, Harris said she was “stepping back from this role”, after she was asked to justify what The Times delicately described as “baseless rumours” she was said to be spreading about Angela Rayner. Guido’s not convinced the rumours are baseless.
Last October The Sun reported Angela Rayner had grown close to her Momentum backing leadership campaign manager Sam Tarry, under the headline “Labour deputy Angela Rayner strikes up close friendship with married MP after split from husband”. The Sun euphemistically said “Angela Rayner has struck up a close friendship” with Sam Tarry. In return Rayner helped Tarry win the Ilford South seat, going out of her way to campaign for him to successfully get into parliament during the 2019 general election:
Soon after Rayner gave the newly-elected Tarry a position which would mean he would work with her as “the Deputy Leader’s Parliamentary Lead on Campaigns & Organisation.” Carolyn Harris saw this as a dangerous opportunity for a Momentum hardliner to organise within the PLP and help rig candidate selections for the left. Negative briefing from Carolyn Harris about Angela Rayner and Sam Tarry therefore combined the personal and the political.
When The Sun asked if Rayner and Tarry were having an intimate relationship, they got the reply “Any suggestion that she has made any appointment based upon anything other than professional merit, experience and ability will be considered highly defamatory.” Which is of course a denial that she gave his a career leg-up, not that he got a leg-over…