Everyone’s itching for a fight at the Labour conference – and why not?

The left loves nothing more than fighting itself and, because of the pandemic, it has not been able to partake in its favourite activity for two years, writes Marie Le Conte

Tuesday 28 September 2021 15:19 BST
A vote taking place at Labour’s conference in Brighton
A vote taking place at Labour’s conference in Brighton (Reuters)

I walked into the conference centre in Brighton on Sunday afternoon, hoping to find some colour for this column. After about three minutes, I managed to get caught between John Spellar, the founder of centrist Labour First, and left-wing journalist Owen Jones. The latter was trying to interview the former; the former wouldn’t speak and kept walking, and I comically got stuck between the two.

It was as good an omen as it could have been; the Labour Party has gathered by the seaside for the first time in two years and absolutely everyone seems to be itching for a fight. It all began when an allegedly well-refreshed Angela Rayner called the government “a bunch of scum, homophobic, racist, misogynist, absolute pile of banana republic Etonian piece of scum” at the northwest Labour reception on Saturday.

The dig did not go down well with many corners of the party, with an unnamed shadow cabinet minister telling The Times that “she’s an imbecile and until she realises that the party will never be credible”.

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