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Shadow Education Secretary - Angela Rayner.

Shadow Education Secretary - Angela Rayner.

My school, we affectionately nicknamed it Avonjail, but it was called Avondale, Avondale high school in Stockport. I left with no GCSEs above a D,” says Angela Rayner, with a school rebel kind of a grin, as we start our interview. Brought up on a Stockport housing estate by her mother, who could neither read nor write, Rayner was pregnant when she quit full-time education. “I kind of left at 15.”

She is now 39 and as shadow education secretary could soon be in a Labour cabinet. After a 45-minute discussion in which we cover education policy, inequality, Brexit, the state of the Labour party and Boris Johnson at breakneck speed it seems natural to wind up by asking what ambitions she could possibly have left. Would she like to complete her extraordinary journey by, one day, becoming Labour leader?

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