The deputy leader of Britain’s main opposition party on Sunday refused to apologize for calling the governing Conservatives “scum”.
Labor legislator Angela Rainer called members of the government “a bunch of scams – homosexuality, racism, anti-women” during a reception at the party’s annual convention on Saturday. The remark drew a rebuke from Labor leader Keir Starmer, who said he would not use such language and “will talk to Angela about it later.”
Conservative Party chairman Oliver Dowden said politicians should “make politics better, not drag it into the gutter. Let’s see if we get an apology.”
But Rainer defended the comments, saying he had used “street language” to express his disappointment with Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative government.
“Anyone who leaves children hungry during a pandemic and can give billions of pounds to their peers on WhatsApp, I think it was terrifying,” she told Sky News, citing support for poor families and government contracts. Referring to the controversies during global pandemic.
Rainer said she would only apologize if Johnson said ‘sorry’ for her previous comments “that are gay, who are racist, who are wrong.”
Johnson has a long record of offensive comments, including calling Papua New Guinea cannibals and comparing Muslim women to “letter boxes.”
The left-of-centre Labor Party is holding its annual convention in the English seaside town of Brighton, which is looking for a way back to power after more than a decade in opposition.
In April 2020, Starmer was elected leader of the party, replacing the more leftist Jeremy Corbyn, who had led Labor to two massive electoral defeats. An advocate for the party’s centre-left wing, Starmer has struggled to make an impact while the nation’s attention was consumed by the coronavirus pandemic.
He is now caught between the two wings of a fractured party. Corbyn’s supporters want him to stick to the nationalization and spending increases of his predecessor’s socialist policies. But many Labor lawmakers believe the party must lean towards the center to win, as it did under the leadership of former prime minister Tony Blair, who won three consecutive election victories.
Labor has been out of office since 2010, a decade that has brought the country three Conservative prime ministers – David Cameron, Theresa May and Johnson.
Starmer’s convention speech on Wednesday is seen as a pivotal moment for the leader to unify the party – or face increasingly loud calls to remove him.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /