Angela Rayner is a British politician serving as Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office and Shadow Secretary of State for the Future of Work since 2021. She has been Shadow First Secretary of State, Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Deputy Leader of the Labour Party since 2020. Rayner has been Member of Parliament (MP) for Ashton-under-Lyne since 2015. She ideologically identifies as a socialist and as being part of Labour’s soft left.
Rayner was born and raised in Stockport, where she attended the state secondary Avondale School. She left school aged 16 whilst pregnant and without any qualifications. She later trained in social care at Stockport College and worked for the local council as a care worker. She eventually became a trade union representative within Unison, during which time she joined the Labour Party. Selected to contest Ashton‑under‑Lyne in 2014 and elected for the seat at the 2015 general election, she was appointed as Shadow Minister for Pensions by Jeremy Corbyn in January 2016.
Rayner was promoted in July 2016 to the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Secretary of State for Education and Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities. As Shadow Education Secretary, she proposed the creation of a National Education Service modelled on the National Health Service (NHS). She endorsed Rebecca Long-Bailey in the 2020 Labour Party leadership election, who came second to Keir Starmer, and instead successfully stood for the deputy leadership, after which she was appointed as party chair and national campaign coordinator. She was removed from these roles in a reshuffle following Labour’s poor performance at the 2021 local elections, subsequently being appointed as Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Shadow Secretary of State for the Future of Work.