Angela Rayner makes general election promise of pay boost for hundreds of thousands of Scots if Labour wins

Angela Rayner, talking during a podcast interview at Reach Scotland office.
Pic Ross Turpie
-Credit: (Image: Daily Record)


Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner has said hundreds of thousands of Scots will receive a pay rise if Keir Starmer becomes prime minister.

Rayner said a Labour Government’s commitment to a “genuine” living wage will boost the incomes of Scots across the country.

She also accused the Tories of portraying her as a “thick”, “stupid” and “easy” working class woman from northern England.

Rayner hit the campaign trail in Scotland to promote the workers’ rights package Labour says will be implemented if they sweep to power.

Policies include scrapping exploitative zero hours contracts, axing Tory trade union laws and ending ‘fire and rehire’.

They have also committed to a substantial rise in the living wage which is currently set at £11.44.

In an interview with the Record's Planet Holyrood podcast, Rayner said: “The genuine living wage will help hundreds of thousands of people in Scotland. What we are saying is if you are a good employer, and you want to do the right thing, we’ll reward that.”

She described child poverty as a "stain" and claimed the Tories had presided over rising hardship for working people: "Why should people who are in work need top ups? Why should people in work have to go to food banks? We are in a country now where working people can’t afford to feed their families. It’s not just the scourge of the poverty. It’s the psychological impact that that has on the parents.

She said Tory policies like the bedroom tax and the two child benefit cap amounted to the “constant demonisation” of people who need support.

But she said the number one priority in government would be fiscal responsibility and refused to commit to an end to the cap.

She said: “It’s going to be a really difficult inheritance and the Tories have done their best to ruin it as much as they possibly can."

Rayner also took aim at the Tories over claims she had dodged capital gains tax over the sale of a house.

She said after being cleared by HMRC: “It was pretty clear right from the start it was a smear. It’s a playbook they are using more again and again because they are bereft of ideas.”

She added: “I feel like they have a problem with northern working class women. If you look at some of the stuff that I have endured, you know, pregnant at sixteen, left with no qualifications, insinuating that I am some sort of easy and that I am stupid and thick. And then I got attacked for going to the opera.”

She said it was akin to false claims about her sitting in a sexually provocative way at prime minister’s questions when Boris Johnson was PM.

“I was accused of trying to distract Boris Johnson with my legs because I did better at PMQs than he did….I do think there is a little bit of sexism and classism in the way I have been treated in the press.”

Rayner added: “All I do is fight for working people. I want the opportunities for people, the Angela Rayners of today, that I got. What they are doing is they are saying ‘stay in your lane’.”

She continued: “I don’t accept that my grandchildren are growing up and they are not going to be able to own their own home, they are not going to have a good pension and they can’t have the opportunities that were afforded to me.”

Rayner said a Labour Government would “respect” devolution, but she had a pop at the SNP: "The SNP have turned inwards. They are not outwardly facing to the electorate.

“I see the Punch and Judy between the SNP and Tories are prime minister’s questions and it is exhausting.”

She also spoke of her relationship with Starmer and admitted it had got off to a slow start: "We get on really well now. I think in the early days we were a bit yin and yang. I’m a bit Northern, aren’t I, and loud, and Keir’s from the south and he’s not quite as loud. I would say I am an extrovert and Keir’s an introvert.”

On trans people, Rayner said she was concerned about demonisation and said they are among the “most vulnerable people in society”.

Women’s rights campaigners fear self-ID for trans people could see biological males enter female only spaces.

Rayner said she is open to creating so-called “third spaces” for trans people in some areas: “You may do that, yes. That may be one way of doing it. You can find a way of creating spaces for people that safeguards everyone’s rights.”

Back on the election, she says she is looking forward to jumping on the battle bus and says of her message to Scots: “We can turn the page on the chaos.”

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