ASHTON and Failsworth MP and Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner has vowed to learn the lessons of the recent disappointing local elections.

Ms Rayner described Labour as the “the party of workers and our trade union movement” and called for an end to fire and rehire, zero-hour contracts and agency work that offer only “poverty wages”.

Before she was elected to Parliament, Ms Rayner had climbed the ranks at Unison in the North West, having started as a trade union representative during her time working in care in Stockport.

She said: “We will show the difference between Labour and the Tories when it comes to the economy. That means jobs, opportunities, pay and rights at work.

“This is not about tweaking a failing system but changing it so that it works for working people. As a starting principle this means a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work and good, well-paid jobs in every community.”

Ms Rayner also emphasised the need for pay-rises, rights at work and “bringing back industry and green jobs into areas that have been hammered”.

She added: "It's about not talking fluffy language, it's actually making sure that you have got a decent, secure job that pays you well and that you can get a home and look after your family – that’s it in a nutshell."

“That is the lesson from Greater Manchester, where Andy Burnham showed the difference that Labour makes in power: he connected with people and showed that he was on their side.

“It means homes that people can actually afford to live in, not investment opportunities for landlords that sit empty while thousands of children are homeless.”

Throughout the pandemic Ms Rayner backed party leader Sir Keir and defended the party’s approach to the crisis, while criticising the Government on issues such as the lack of pay rise for NHS staff and the overall death toll.

She was recently given greater authority within the shadow cabinet following intense criticism of Labour leader Sir Keir’s initial move to strip her of key roles as party chairwoman and campaign co-ordinator following the elections.

After leaving school at 16 when she was pregnant with her first child, Ms Rayner later qualified as a care worker after attending college. She now has three children and became a grandmother in 2017.

She said: “It’s only because of Labour and our trade union movement that I’ve gone from no GCSEs and a minimum-wage job to where I am today.

“So, it is my responsibility now to make sure that we learn lessons and reconnect with the people and the places that we are here to fight for – and to make sure they know that we speak for them and that we are on their side.”