Senior Labour figures are not happy with shadow mental health minister Rosena Allin-Khan. Khan has been hyped as a potential future leader by soft left voices for years, and her coming second to Angela Rayner in the 2020 deputy leadership has only emboldened those backers. This afternoon anger is finally bubbling to the surface after Survation published a poll for LabourList testing out perceived leadership qualities of Labour figures. Accidentally, one section had been labelled “ROSENA QUESTIONS”.
The Times’ Henry Zeffman was the first to spot Survation’s cock up, with the New Statesman’s Rachel Wearmouth piling on pressure by reporting “Lots of shadow cabinet ministers angry with what appears to be leadership manoeuvres from Rosena Allin-Khan”.
A clarification from Survation’s Damian Lyons Lowe has done little to stop the runaway train of anger from Starmer loyalists, with Lyons Lowe claiming “this was an error due to the survey script using questions from a template from work done for the 2020 Deputy Leadership election”. Unfortunately for Rosena, this doesn’t prove a wholly solid defence. Lowe goes on:
“ These questions are for some new @LabourList polling that will be out next week.”
A shadow cabinet source, however, points out to Guido that Rosena Allin-Khan’s big financial backer, David Kogan, is a director of LabourList, and gave her £7,500 in February according to her register of interests. So while Allin-Khan may not be directly behind the cock up, one of her key backers responsible for commissioning the polling may have ulterior motives…
The anger continues. The Sunday Times’ deputy pol-ed Harry Yorke is told “the growing consensus in the shadow cabinet is that Rosena Allin-Khan should resign or be sacked over this”. Politico’s Eleni Courea is told by a shadow cabinet member that “they were once sitting on a train to London from Manchester when Rosena and her team boarded and sat a couple of rows in front… and overheard her asking them go round and “say something you’ve done this week to help me become Labour leader”.” When Guido asked a shadow cabinet source their response to the Survation defence, the reply was the eternally pithy: “bollocks.”