CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Angela Rayner tells Labour election team to stick to their “socialist principles”

No press allowed as shadow education secretary leads rally in Highgate

27 April, 2018 — By Richard Osley

Angela Rayner is introduced by Sir Keir Starmer

SHADOW education secretary Angela Rayner today urged the Labour activists to stick to its “socialist principles” as she made a secret visit to the party’s local election campaign in Camden.

Unusually for a visit from a political frontbencher, the New Journal was barred from asking questions and her aides insisted on a “no press” rule.

Instead, she spoke only to campaigners gathered outside William Ellis School in Highgate, a ward where Labour are looking to oust the council’s last Green councillor at next Thursday’s boroughwide vote.

Ms Rayner said she was often asked why she talked about early years provision when young children could not vote in elections. She told the crowd: “It’s not just about votes, of course votes are important because without those votes we won’t get these fantastic candidates in as councillors, but are principles are the most important thing, and what we stand for.”

Ms Rayner added: “The truth is that they are the next generation who are going to keep Britain great and if we want to see the economy doing well, that’s our socialist principles, what we stand for.”

Holborn and St Pancras MP Sir Keir Starmer and council leader Georgia Gould were also at the short rally at lunchtime, while council candidate Anna Wright spoke about the importance of education.

Angela Rayner meets candidates and campaigners in Highgate

Labour candidates snap away

Ms Rayner said: “We know that [public] services are being stretched thinner and thinner: older people being told they are living a little bit too long, young are people coming to school from desperate housing situations. We need statutory youth services and we need good comprehensive schools.”

She added: “We want all children to have the opportunity to have a comprehensive state system that doesn’t market and broker them, like we have in Wakefield where they are brokered by academy chains. We’ve got heads and chiefs of multi-academy trusts who are taking £300,000 a year out of the education system, when you’ve got children not being fed before they even reach the classroom.”

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