On the campaign trail… Angela Rayner, her MP friend (and his wife): Keir Starmer’s deputy was snapped with Sam Tarry and his dedicated partner as they supported him while he canvassed for votes
- A 2019 photo shows Sam Tarry with Angela Rayner and his wife Julia Fozard
- Mr Tarry’s relationship with Mrs Rayner has now been thrust into the spotlight
- The pair was last week pictured leaving Mrs Rayner’s flat together in the morning
Smiling proudly next to Sam Tarry, pregnant Julia Fozard appears blissfully oblivious to the possibility that the woman standing to her husband’s right could soon become his rumoured lover.
In a picture unearthed by the Daily Mail, the 39-year-old MP can be seen flanked by both his dedicated wife and Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner, 41.
Both women were out supporting the politician as he canvassed the streets of Ilford South in November 2019 before winning his seat.
Angela Rayner, Sam Tarry and his wife Julia pictured together in November, 2019
His 37-year-old wife – a Brighton-based paediatrician – can be seen holding a poster saying ‘I’m voting for Sam Tarry’ urging people to vote Labour.
At the time Dr Fozard, who married Mr Tarry in a lavish ceremony in Ibiza in 2016, would have been in the early stages of her pregnancy with their second child who was born in the summer of 2020.
The picture has emerged after Mr Tarry’s relationship with Mrs Rayner was thrust into the public spotlight last week after the pair were photographed leaving her taxpayer-funded flat on Wednesday morning.
Mrs Rayner was snapped striding ahead as Mr Tarry tailed behind with untied shoelaces, fumbling with his shirt buttons and what appeared to be a toothbrush poking out from his coat pocket.
Last week after the pair were photographed leaving Mrs Rayner’s taxpayer-funded flat on Wednesday morning
It was the first time the pair were pictured outside of the political arena after being dogged by rumours about their close friendship for several months.
Dr Fozard, a yoga lover, would have met Mrs Rayner as she supported her husband on the campaign trail in 2019 – often pounding the pavements to help her husband with their toddler son in tow.
Corbynite Mr Tarry was first reported to have grown close to Mrs Rayner, now the most powerful woman in the Labour Party, in October 2020.
The father-of-two was her campaign manager as she ran for the party’s deputy leadership – three months after splitting from her husband of ten years, trade union official Mark Rayner.
It is not clear when their closer working relationship started.
Mr Tarry is now believed to have split from his wife.
Both Mrs Rayner, who famously once called a rival Tory MP ‘scum’, and Mr Tarry have so far declined to confirm or deny any rumours that they are anything more than close colleagues.
A source close to Mrs Rayner and Mr Tarry said: ‘Angela and Sam are both separated and have been for a long time and they have done nothing wrong.’
AMANDA PLATELL: Take it from a woman, the minute I saw that makeover, I knew she was devouring life…
When Angela Rayner stepped up to take on Boris Johnson across the Despatch Box at PMQs earlier this month, there was an audible gasp from both sides of the House.
Here was a new – and some would say vastly improved – deputy Labour leader on show in Sir Keir Starmer’s absence.
Gone were Angela’s trademark bovver boots, usually worn with some frumpy, all-enveloping ensemble: In their place, shiny black stilettos.
Mrs Rayner in a pale gold dress at PMQs as she filled in for Keir Starmer in his absence
A slinky, daringly slashed dress in a becoming shade of pale gold complemented her svelte form, sleek red locks and perfectly applied make-up – with a string of fake pearls at her throat as a finishing touch.
It was a boisterous and teasing encounter as she took on Boris over the cost of living crisis – while also conceding her own leadership ambitions.
Some went so far as to suggest the pair were actually flirting!
Was she embarrassed? Not a bit of it. She was positively beaming, a woman revelling in the moment.
She knew that she’d spectacularly eclipsed her boss – Sir Keir is a politician given to performances that lack energy – and that she’d done it in style.
But at the time I suspected something more. Every shred of womanly instinct told me it was not the cut and thrust of political debate that had so transformed the former trade union rep with Trotskyite leanings.
And it seems I may have been right. As the Daily Mail reported yesterday, Angela, 41, was spotted leaving her £30,000-a-year taxpayer-funded south London flat with married MP Sam Tarry one morning last week.
Now, although rumours have been rife for weeks at Westminster about their ‘deepening friendship’, reports of an affair may be premature.
Mrs Rayner, the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, on a visit to Bristol in 2020, sporting combat boots, animal-print trousers and a baggy black jacket
Perhaps it really was an innocent sleepover after a late night discussing policy – or her leadership ambitions. Or maybe his boiler was bust and he simply couldn’t face the thought of a freezing night and cold shower in the morning.
But I would respectfully suggest that the circumstantial evidence – and by that I mean what one red-blooded woman instantly recognises in another – suggests otherwise.
I see that physical and sartorial transformation and I know that telltale glow.
Any woman knows that when one of her married friends swaps flats for stilettoes, suddenly loses weight, gets a new hairdo, ditches her boring suits for some body conscious flair and bins tights for stockings, there’s something afoot.
There was a first intimation when Angela appeared in a black PVC mac in a glossy magazine shoot last September.
A few months later she was back in the headlines after she laid a wreath at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday.
For many, the towering heels and too short dress worn under a red coat were inappropriate for such a sombre occasion – not to mention the Labour red rose ankle tattoo on display.
But, six years on from her arrival at Westminster, it was another sign of the reinvention of the MP for Ashton-under-Lyne.
Since then the mother-of-three’s demeanour has been of a woman who has discovered a new lease of life and is devouring it.
At PMQs she sported a Jennifer Aniston poker-straight hairstyle and artfully applied highlighter to cheek and brow; since then we’ve seen her with blow-dried cascading curls a la Beyonce – perhaps with a few hair extensions for added va va voom – and more glittery gold eye-shadow than a contestant in Ru Paul’s Drag Race.
Forgive me if this appears sexist or frivolous, but when men are struck by Cupid’s arrow, it tends to be business as normal.
Amanda Platell writes that Mrs Rayner wore ‘a slinky, daringly slashed dress in a becoming shade of pale gold complemented her svelte form, sleek red locks and perfectly applied make-up’
When we women have the wind in our sails, we carry our hearts on the sleeves of our newly purchased designer frocks.
As Angela Rayner has long insisted, her private life is just that, private. She and her husband of ten years, Mark, parted in 2020, while it is being reported that Tarry – her former campaign manager when she ran for the deputy leadership – has split from his wife, Julia, with whom he has two children.
None of those involved have confirmed or denied the reports over the weekend.
Who knows what Mark or Julia think or whether this close friendship started after their partners left them or before.
And none of us should forget that family break-up – and all the sadness that goes with it – is at the heart of the gossip fest now entertaining Westminster.
But don’t you agree that Angela – with bare legs in vegan leopard print boots – and Sam – with his shoe laces untied – looked downright shifty as they skulked down the stairs of the flat?
Not so very stylish after all, Ange.
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