Grey gowrie

In defence of Angela Rayner

On the one occasion when I spent any time with Angela Rayner, she was funny, direct and friendly. We were both on the BBC’s Any Questions? in Alan Partridge territory and dined together beforehand with Sir Vince Cable. She got through a whole evening without identifying me, either privately or on air, as one of ‘a bunch of scum, homophobic, racist, misogynistic, absolute pile of banana republic, Etonian piece of scum’ (her chosen words at this week’s party conference fringe meeting). True, I am neither a government minister nor a Conservative (in the Lords I sit as ‘non-affiliated’), but she probably felt I was that sort of person. So, now