The deputy leader of the Labour Party is known for her more outspoken nature – previously causing controversy by referring to the Tories as “scum” – but she caused major upset among typical Labour voters on Thursday when her latest remarks circulated.
“On things like law and order I am quite hardline,” Rayner told Matt Forde’s Political Party podcast, as she distanced herself from former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and claimed the party would now be tougher on crime.
She continued: “I am like, shoot your terrorists and ask questions second.”
When the live audience reacted loudly, Rayner said: “Sorry – is that the most controversial thing I’ve ever said?”
She then continued: “On law and order, I think if you are being terrorised by the local thug, I want a copper to come and sort them out.
“You should be hardline on things like that. It’s not just, ‘Oh you’ve been burgled here is a crime number.’
“I want you to beat down the doors of the criminals and sort them out and antagonise them.
“That’s what I say to my local police...three o’clock in the morning and antagonise them.”
She also said growing up she was “plagued by anti-social behaviour” by “the usual suspects”, adding: “I want the police to annoy the hell out of them until they realise disrupting lives is not OK. I am quite hardline on that.”
So... here’s why people are not happy
It wasn’t long before people started pointing out how Rayner’s policy has actually been enacted before. A civilian, Jean Charles de Menezes, was shot dead in 2005 by Met Police officers after he was incorrectly identified as someone involved with bombing attempts, obviously sparking some widespread backlash.
Then people questioned why she had decided to talk about this, including fellow Labour MP Diane Abbott was also among those criticising Rayner.
People also pointed out how this could stoke fear among crowds, and make some feel like they could be victimised by the police.