Angela Rayner has broken her longstanding silence over her boyfriend Sam Tarry’s deselection as the Labour candidate for Ilford South. At a fundraising dinner last night in Ilford, Rayner poured her heart out for her partner and “soulmate“, claiming she “hope[s] he continues” as a Labour MP and that it would be “a tragedy” to lose him:
“We’ve got to challenge ourselves, we’re a big Labour family, and like any family, we can fall out at times and have difference of opinions – but we’ve got to get rid of the Tories… Sam [Tarry] is one of the most kind-hearted, amazing individuals and he’s also my soulmate so… he’s a really good guy. And I actually think you’re incredibly lucky to have him as your MP because I get to see a lot of Sam, and I get to see a lot of behind the scenes, and I see how much he cares… I hope that he continues because it would be an absolute tragedy to lose someone like Sam as an MP.”
This is despite Jas Athwal, the man who beat Tarry to the selection as Labour’s Ilford South candidate, receiving the backing of Rayner’s Shadow Cabinet colleague Wes Streeting. Not to mention Tarry also calling in the lawyers against the party in an attempt to thwart his re-selection battle last year. When Tarry lost, his camp accused the Labour Party of “dirty tricks” and vote rigging. Does Angie endorse that too? Is she showing a bit of leg to the anti-Starmerites?
Sam Tarry (“I am crestfallen”) is taking his deselection so well his camp are now donning their tinfoil hats and accusing the Labour Party of “dirty tricks” and vote rigging. That’s surely the only explanation for his losing the seat by 138 votes last night.
According to the Telegraph, Team Tarry are claiming around 20 of his supporters were turned away at the door yesterday as they hadn’t received ballot papers. Meanwhile Tarry himself is sulking around calling his loss a “manufactured political circus” and demanding assurances of “the integrity of the result.” Labour assure they have full confidence in the vote, and Jas Athwal won fair and square. You lost, Sam. What next? A Stop the Steal march on Southside? Make Ilford Great Again?
Sam Tarry has lost a deselection vote in Ilford South to Jas Athwal, 58:42.
It’s very ironic that the Labour left spent the entire Corbyn years pushing for mandatory deselection to rid the party of centrists, and the first Labour MP to be deselected in over a decade is one of their own…
Sam Tarry’s battle to retain his Ilford South seat in the Labour re-selection civil war is exposing the gulf between the left and right of the party, right up to the Shadow Cabinet. While Angie keeps schtum over her boyfriend’s fight, her frontbench colleague Wes Streeting has declared who he’s backing: his personal friend, and Tarry’s direct rival, Jas Athwal. Awkward.
Streeting is now listed as the first endorser on Athwal’s campaign page, writing:
“I’m proud to have served as Jas’ Deputy Leader and prouder still to call him a friend. Nobody is more qualified to represent Ilford South in Parliament.”
He’s also recently changed his Facebook cover image to a snap featuring the pair alongside Sadiq Khan, which is no coincidence.
As LabourList point out, Tarry’s already had the likes of Barry Gardiner and Kate Osborne out on the trail for him. Sir Keir himself is keeping quiet, although given he sacked Tarry as Shadow Transport Minister in the first place, it doesn’t take a genius to work out his likely preference. Guido also notices Sir Keir appears in a photo alongside Athwal on the latter’s website…
Former Shadow Transport
Secretary Minister Sam Tarry is declaring all-out war on the Labour Party, with solicitors from top law firm Carter-Ruck writing to Labour’s General Secretary David Evans to demand an immediate end to Tarry’s constituency reselection battle on the grounds of apparent “rule-breaking [and] voter fraud“. Carter-Ruck’s lawyers don’t come cheap. Presumably Tarry’s dipping into his union backers’ pockets to stump up the cash.
Writing this morning, Tarry’s lawyers said:
“Mr Tarry […] wrote to you on Tuesday 5 July 2022, raising very serious concerns about the manner in which that trigger ballot process had apparently been conducted, and informing you of the large volume of complaints that he had received from Labour Party members and affiliates around procedural irregularities, in addition to an alarming report of voter fraud. We are presently considering with Mr Tarry those reports of irregularities and malpractice, and their implications for the integrity of the trigger ballot process, but we refer you in full to our client’s correspondence in this regard […] There should clearly be no prospect of this process continuing further until the very serious matters raised by our client have been fully resolved.”
Either way, it’s not a fight LOTO are likely to back down on any time soon; Tarry’s already promised to ruin Starmer’s conference over his rail strike policy anyway. A Labour spokesperson declined to comment. Should make for awkward pillow talk with Angie…
Read the full letter below:
Former Shadow Transport Minister Sam Tarry is set to lead the union’s charge to force a vote on strikes and pay rises at Labour conference next month. According to the Guardian, the campaign – organised by Momentum, obviously – will officially launch on Thursday, with Tarry accompanied by an all-star lineup including Dawn Butler, Jon Trickett, and Unison union president Andrea Egan. Presumably Angie will stay at home…
The motion will reportedly demand Labour supports rail staff pay increases in line with inflation, as per the unions’ previous demands which Tarry dutifully supported – and which got him sacked for “making up policy on the hoof”, as it was put at the time.
Now Tarry’s exacting revenge by trying to ruin Starmer’s conference:
“Labour has a huge chance to show it’s on the side of working people. But by firing shadow ministers like myself for standing on picket lines, Keir Starmer is in danger of driving a wedge between Labour and the millions of working people desperate for real relief in this escalating cost of living crisis. I am proud of our party’s historic links to the trade unions – it’s time all of our party were.”
He’s not going down without a fight…