Everything You Need To Know About Angela Rayner

Unlike many privately educated politicians, she had a more unusual start to her career.

Angela Rayner

by Alice Hall |
Updated on

With the lead up to the general election well underway, all eyes are on the key political parties as they build their election campaigns to get our vote.

One of the key players in this year's election will be Angela Rayner, who could become the new deputy prime minister if Labour wins the election on 4 July. However, Rayner has recently found herself at the centre of a storm over accusations surrounding her living arrangement in 2010.

The row was centred around an ex-council house in Stockport that Rayner bought in 2007 under the right-to-buy scheme. When she got married in 2010, she sold the house but an unauthorised biography published in March this year by Tory peer Lord Ashcroft sparked questions about her living arrangement. Police in Manchester looked into whether Rayner paid the correct tax on a house sale, and if she was registered to vote at the right address.

Although she was found to have not committed a criminal offence, the tax row led to a whole range of negative headlines around Rayner. In a recent interview with The Guardian, Rayner admitted the last few weeks had been tough for her. 'It was very difficult personally, because I’ve never been in trouble and I’ve always tried to do the right thing,' she said. 'While I was confident, it’s also demoralising when your opponents use this as a tactic to try and stop you from carrying out your work. It was a complete distraction from the issues that face people of this country.'

Now, Rayner is back out and about on the campaign trail doing what she does best. Here's everything we know about the woman who could become the UK's deputy prime minister...

Who is Angela Rayner?

Angela Rayner is the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and the Labour candidate for Ashton-under-Lyne. She has been Shadow Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities since 2023.

Unlike many privately educated politicians, she had a more unusual start to her career. A former care worker from Stockport, Rayner was raised on one of the area's poorest council estate and left school when she was 16 with no qualifications after she fell pregnant. 'When I was young, we didn't have books because my mother couldn't read or write,' she told the Financial Times.

Rayner also cared for her mother from a young age, who suffered with bipolar disorder and depression. In 2017, she told the BBC's At Lunch With... podcast 'My mum was a really vulnerable person. I remember, at 10, my mum being suicidal and me sleeping like a dog on the end of her bed, just to try and stay next to her so she didn't do any harm to herself.'

After she gave birth to her son, Rayner studied British sign language and social care at college part time. She became a care worker for her local council in Stockport, a position which led her to be put forward as a union rep. 'I was mouthy and I would take no messing from management,' she previously said.

She quickly worked her way up to become Unison's convenor in the North West, before being elected as an MP for Ashton-under-Lyne in 2015 and taking on her role as Shadow Education Secretary.

How old is Angela Rayner?

Angela Rayner was born on 28 March 1980, making her 44 years old.

Is Angela Rayner married?

Angela Rayner married Unison officer Mark Rayner in 2010, but the pair separated early in 2020. In an interview with The Guardian earlier this year, Angela said she is still ‘best friends’ with Mark.

After separating from Mark, she started dating Labour MP and former transport shadow minister Sam Tarry. Rayner and Sam split up last year.

Does Angela Rayner have any siblings?

Angela Rayner has 12 siblings, and she previously described their family situation as 'very poor.' She said 'I would say even more poorer than what my upbringing was and I was on benefits. My mum and dad were on a giro, fortnightly, and we struggled as kids, but my mum’s upbringing was even harder.'

In an interview with Vogue, she recalled walking with her siblings every Sunday to their nan's house to have their weekly bath, because they could not afford hot water at home. 'I had tide [dirt] marks. We used to try and scrub them off my neck,' she said.

How tall is Angela Rayner?

Angela Rayner is 1.68m, making her 5 foot 5.

Does Angela Rayner have children?

Yes, Angela Rayner has three children: Ryan, 27, Charlie, 16, and Jimmy, 14. Earlier this year, she told The Guardian of her two youngest ‘There they are, the little cuties. I call them pampered pooches. They’re both over 6ft now.’

In 2017, Rayner revealed that she had become a grandmother at age 37, accompanying her announcement with the hashtag ‘#Grangela.’

What is Angela Rayner's salary?

According to the BBC in 2023, Rayner earns an MP's salary of £86,584, and has declared £16,050‬ in extra income, gifts and donations in the 2022-23 register of financial interests.

What has Angela Rayner said about online abuse?

Like many female MPs, Angela Rayner sadly experiences large amounts of trolling and online abuse. In 2019, this led her to get panic alarms installed in her home after people sent her death threats.

In 2023, Greater Manchester Police revealed that three men had been charged and another convicted over abusive emails and voicemails they sent to Angela. At an event in 2023, Rayner opened up about the toll that the abuse had taken on her family, saying her sons 'now know they live in that environment.'

She continued 'It's really sad because it's quite normal in my house now. My children are teenagers now and it's quite normal for them - the threats, the abuse,' adding 'I think that's quite sad that it's normal for them and they see that as part and parcel of what I do. I see it as another part of what I put up with.'

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