Last night, Angela Rayner put out a lengthy apology for her “Tory scum” rant at Labour Conference, claiming she had “reflected on our political debate” and “would like to unreservedly apologise” for the language she used. A pretty significant volte-face, given she publicly stood by the comments when they made headlines last month.
Rayner stresses that she now recognises how “all of us in positions of leadership have a responsibility for our language and rhetoric” and she takes that responsibility “with the utmost seriousness”. Only a month ago, she was bragging in a Brighton bar:
“The more outraged they [the Tories] are, the more I feel like I’m doing my job […] I’m f*cking outraged by the way [they] treat people in this country […] I’m sure my people will refine the line…but that’s my ‘unofficial’ comment… [adopting sarcastic tone] “they’re f*cking fantastic people when you get to know ’em.”
Rayner took those responsibilities with such “seriousness” that she was happy to curse and sneer about her political opponents to anyone who’d listen, cynically predicting her line would be “refined” publicly afterwards. Which has now come to pass…