All of Labour’s deputy leadership candidates have released videos to set out what they stand for and how they would interpret the role if they were elected to the post on April 4th. Here’s a look at the highlights…
Clear frontrunner Angela Rayner was the first contender to put out a video, and it’s exceptionally well made. It explores her background and explains how she entered politics after growing up in a council house, looking after her mother and then becoming a young parent herself.
Rayner discovered the trade union movement through working as a home carer, she tells viewers, and links her pride in that job to the feeling that she should be apologetic as an MP. “Far too often now, people don’t think politicians work for them,” she says.
Although four and half minutes long, it manages to keep your attention, interspersing Rayner’s pitch with clips of her talking to Dennis Skinner – boosting leftie credentials – and hugging people in her constituency. It has 144k views on Twitter.
The key message is that people “don’t want hand-outs” (an implicit criticism of Labour’s manifesto or the way it was communicated), Labour must be democratised and its diversity respected (a Corbynite priority followed by a unifying pledge) and she will “support activists”.
— Angela Rayner 🌈 (@AngelaRayner) January 10, 2020
Richard Burgon also released a video earlier this week. It is, again, very well made, but has a different focus from that of Rayner. He briefly talks about how he grew up in Leeds and his politics were inspired by family links to the miners’ strike (though no mention that his uncle was an MP).
The video mainly centres on his support for the kind of values espoused by Jeremy Corbyn. It starts with him speaking at a rally with the leader in 2016, before showing Burgon at a number of protests.
The deputy leadership hopeful highlights the importance of “the struggle”, “organising” and being “rooted in communities”. He vows to be “a deputy leader that puts our members first”, and “empowers members” who should be able to “decide policies that go on leaflets” rather than just distribute them.
Burgon promises to be “accountable to you” and concludes: “I’m on your side.” The three- minute video is a clear pitch to those members who feel that party democratisation reforms didn’t go far enough, which aligns with Burgon’s vocal support for open selections.
I’ve been a Labour activist for my entire adult life.
As Deputy Leader, I’ll be your voice at the heart of our Party.
— Richard Burgon MP (@RichardBurgon) January 21, 2020
Ian Murray also put out a very impressive video this week. He informs us of his background – showing the housing estate he grew up on and family photos – explaining that he is the son of a single parent and how he was the first to go to university.
“I’m the kitchen porter who worked hard to build a business and ended up running my own pubs,” he says. Murray shows personality when he talks about being a football fan.
As Labour’s only MP in Scotland, he naturally goes on to talk about this as evidence of him being “a fighter” who wins “against the odds”. None of this is against a plain background, but always shows him in the context of his local area.
Murray doesn’t touch on factionalism apart from one line. Although known as a vocal Corbynsceptic who likely gets called a Blairite, he says: “I’m not a Blairite or a Corbynite. I’m my own man. I’m Labour.”
I’m standing to be Deputy Leader of the Labour Party to change our party so that we can transform people’s lives.
This is my story.
— Ian Murray MP (@IanMurrayMP) January 16, 2020
Dawn Butler has not released a central video for her campaign, but has tweeted several videos instead – mostly aimed at winning the GMB nomination, which ultimately went to Rayner despite Butler having worked as a GMB organiser.
After gaining the MP/MEP nominations required to get through the first round, Butler appealed to the GMB for support and to local parties, asking them to invite her to their meetings.
She later posted a video specifically about her past work for GMB, tagging the union and Tim Roache in the tweet, explaining that she used to “travel in the boot of employees’ cars” in order to “sneak into the workplace”.
The Brent MP is now on a “prepare for power” tour of local parties, mostly posting photos rather than videos. But she did clip an answers of hers in the first party hustings, where she talked about unity and vowed to “never, ever, ever join a coup”.
Some people talk the talk on unity. But I’ve walked the walk of unity. Now it’s time for the Labour Party to show it. If you vote for me as Deputy Leader I will be the unity candidate and take us to the finishing line so we can have a Labour Prime Minister once again #Dawn4Deputy pic.twitter.com/XQ210rhMax
— (((Dawn Butler))) (@DawnButlerBrent) January 20, 2020
Dr Rosena Allin-Khan launched her campaign with a video that strongly communicated her employment background as an NHS doctor who still does shifts at the local A&E. Wearing scrubs and a stethoscope, she talked about her hero, real life experience and reasons for standing. It got nearly 240k views on Twitter.
More recently, she put out a clip of her pitch to members at the hustings in Liverpool. The video of her super smiley, high-energy performance has racked up 74k views – not bad for a hustings clip.
└📁 Humanitarian Aid
└📁 Shadow Sports Minister
└📁 3 Parliamentary elections
└📂 Deputy Leader election
└📽 5 things about me pic.twitter.com/azVtDDCgwl
— Dr Rosena Allin-Khan (@DrRosena) January 16, 2020