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Photography by Rose Baylis & Frusciante Jones

Angela Rayner is Member of Parliament for Ashton-under-Lyne and is Deputy Leader of the Labour Party. She currently undertakes the roles of Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Shadow Secretary of State for the Future of Work.

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Angela Rayner at the dispatch box in the House of Commons (Photo: Jessica Taylor)

Angela was born in Stockport in 1980 and attended the town’s Avondale High School. She left school aged 16 whilst pregnant and without any qualifications and was told she would ‘never amount to anything’. She later trained in social care at Stockport College and worked for the local council as a care worker. Angela was soon put forward by her women work-mates to speak for them as a union rep with UNISON. “I was mouthy,” she says, “and I would take no messing from management.” She rose through the ranks of the trade union movement with her direct experience of low pay, long hours and zero hours contracts, to become the most senior elected official of UNISON in the North West of England.


Angela speaking at the Labour Party Conference


Around this time Angela joined the Labour Party. In 2015, she became the first woman MP in the 180-year history of her Ashton-under-Lyne constituency. She was soon promoted to the shadow whip’s office by the new Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn and then went on to hold the position of Shadow Pensions Minister, before becoming a member of the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Secretary of State for Education. In March 2020, Angela was elected as Deputy Leader of the Labour Party. 

Angela identifies as a socialist and has a fiery, no nonsense approach to politics.


In October 2020 she controversially called Conservative MP Chris Clarkson "scum" as he was giving a speech in Parliament. She later apologised. Clarkson had been critical of Andy Burnham, who had been seeking financial support for Greater Manchester following local restrictions on businesses being introduced.


Angela passionately makes a political point of her working-class roots. She has asked Hasard transcribers not to correct her speeches, preferring allegedly "incorrect" grammar "because it's who I am".


Angela Rayner has an authentic accent for the region - the social background she has. It's part of her. There are very few people whose accents actually match the people they represent. Part of her appeal is she is so genuine, she is authentic – Dr Rob Drummond (Linguistics MMU)


If you want to underestimate me because I speak like a Mancunian, like the people I grew up with, then so be it at your peril." - Angela Rayner

Angela lives with her family in Ashton-under-Lyne and although an avid Stockport County fan she is a regular follower of Ashton United FC, often attending games with her sons. She is a Patron of Ashton United in the Community, supporting and promoting community cohesion. Angela always launches her general election campaigns from the club’s Hurst Cross Ground.

Angela and Labour Leader Keir Starmer electioneering in 2021

THE SHOOT: Hurst Cross - home of Ashton United FC

Angela is a keen supporter and patron of the football club

Student reflection: Frusciante Jones


This shoot with Angela Rayner was an amazing opportunity to test my skills with the camera and work with someone high profile. The shoot took place at Ashton United Football Club close to where Angela lives. Everyone there at the ground seemed to know Angela well and there was a fun, relaxed atmosphere... a real sense of community.

We started the shoot by photographing Angela in the ground's stands, then moved to the pitch to make use of the dugout and the goal posts. She was a pleasure to work with, happy to be directed and took to our ideas quickly. Working alongside fellow photographer Rose made the shoot easier for me, her greater experience and confidence helped me feel more at ease. The weather throughout the shoot was overcast with a tad bit of wind, which did cause a few minor problems with Angela’s long hair, but wind aside it was favourable weather for photography. There was a photo bonus right at the end of the shoot when Andy the club’s General Manager persuaded Angela to wear an Ashton United shirt. These final images give a real insight into Angela’s down to earth and accommodating personality.

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Rose, Angela & Frusciante

All in all, I thought the shoot was successful, I felt I got some great photos from all the different areas we photographed in. This memorable opportunity has given me extra confidence with my photography and in the future I hope to be asked to join another Greater Mancunians' shoot.

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