Labour MP’s Tom Watson & Angela Rayner

Date: 04.11.16
Author: Louise Haywood-Schiefer
Tags:, , , , , ,

This summer has been a tumultuous one for Labour. Post-Brexit instead of solidifying as a party they turned against each other and a new leadership battle ensued less than a year since the last one. As the dust settled I got to photograph two figures, deputy leader Tom Watson and the new Shadow Secretary of State for Education Angela Rayner. Toms office is one of the best I’ve been in so far at the Houses of Parliament. It’s almost a complete square, is wood panelled and spacious enough to have a seating area (usually they just have an armchair squeezed against the wall). With his trademark thick framed glasses, I opted to use the Gold curtain as the backdrop because it felt quite vintage and cool. He was happy to play around with them too which made for a better shot.
Angela’s office was far less opulent (though coincidentally housed one of Tom Watson’s hats) but her Northern, dry sense of humour and enthusiasm made for 20 minutes of straight up laughter. Asking her how much time she had, she responded that any minute we spent was taking her away from prep for Question Time and so if it didn’t go very well it would be my fault. I liked her instantly. In a bid to gain some height, she permitted me to kneel on a desk as some poor guy was trying to do work on it and then the biggest laugh came when I unwittingly banged my head into the crotch of one of her staff members when I was trying to get the full length shot. Anyone else would have pretended not to notice but she thought my red face of embarrassment was hilarious. If this is the new blood in British politics I reckon we should keep it coming because I would vote for her positive personality any day.

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