Starmer skewered over Angela Rayner’s pledge to scrap union strike laws

Angela Rayner addresses TUC gathering

The Tories have accused Angela Rayner of “committing to Labour’s union paymasters” after the firebrand politician vowed to repeal anti-strike legislation.

The deputy Labour leader set out the opposition’s plan for a new deal for workers as she addressed the TUC Congress this morning.

Ms Rayner promised to ditch the Government’s anti-strike laws within the first 100 days if Labour takes power at the next general election.

But Conservative Party deputy chairman Greg Hands warned “the mask has slipped” over Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s pledge to be pro-business.

Mr Hands said: “The mask has slipped. Despite Keir Starmer’s short-term promises to be pro-business, his deputy leader is committing to Labour’s union paymasters that they will have more control over Britain’s economy.

“Reversing anti-strike laws will mean more strikes, damaging the economy and disrupting the lives of hardworking people.

“Only the Conservatives are delivering the protections we need to stop Labour-backed union leaders from trying to shut down the country.”

In her speech to the TUC event in Liverpool, Ms Rayner described the Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Act as a “spiteful and bitter attack that threatens nurses with the sack”.

The shadow deputy prime minister and levelling up secretary said: “We know going on strike is always a last resort, but it’s a fundamental freedom that must be respected.

“So let me tell you loud and clear, the next Labour government will ask Parliament to repeal these anti-trade union laws within our first 100 days so that you can get on with your jobs of fighting for better for your members.

“I make no apologies that we will work hand-in-hand with trade unions as we will work with business to deliver a real partnership based on mutual respect, cooperation, and negotiation.

“Labour’s New Deal for Working People will transform ordinary working people’s lives.

“Work will finally pay, rights will be properly enforced, and crucially it will strengthen the role of trade unions in our society.”

She also pledged to ban zero-hour contracts, crack down on fire and rehire practices and “bring in a proper living wage that people can actually live on”.

Ms Rayner added: “The battle for the General Election is just getting started, and it’s not going to be easy. But this country cannot survive another five years of Tory rule.”

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