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PMQs: Angela Rayner slams Dominic Raab as she tells him to ‘get back to his sun lounger’

·3-min read

Labour’s Angela Rayner told Dominic Raab to “get back to his sun lounger and let me take over” as the deputies went toe-to-toe at PMQs.

The Deputy Prime Minister stepped in for Boris Johnson at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday as the PM prepare to deliver his address to the UN General Assembly in New York later.

He sparred with Ms Rayner a week after he was replaced as Foreign Secretary by Liz Truss in the Cabinet reshuffle.

Ms Rayner gave Mr Raab a grilling over “ballooning” energy prices.

She pointed out workers on minimum wage would have to work an extra 50 days a year to be able to afford one night in the Deputy Prime Minister’s favourite luxury Crete hotel.

Ms Rayner said: “That is almost exactly the same as an average annual energy bill. Just as energy prices are ballooning they have chosen to take the money that could cover a year’s worth of bills out of the pockets of working people.

“The Deputy Prime Minister has said the solution is for people to work harder. So, can he tell us how many days a worker on the minimum wage would have to work this year in order to afford a night at a luxury hotel, say in Crete?”

The Deputy Prime Minister stepped in for Boris Johnson
The Deputy Prime Minister stepped in for Boris Johnson

Mr Raab hit back: “If she wants to talk about taxes and easing the burden on the lowest paid, I’ll remind her whenever a Labour Party has gone into Government unemployment has soared, the economy has nosedived and taxes have gone through the roof.

“Under this Government we cut income tax, saving every worker £1,200 each year, we have introduced and extended the national living wage so full-time workers are £4,000 better off each year, we have doubled the free childcare for working parents worth up to £5,000 for every child every year. When Labour takes office, unemployment goes up and the economy goes down.”

As their clash went on, Ms Rayner dealt a final blow to Mr Raab in the heated exchange in PMQs.

She said: “Maybe he should get back to his sun lounger and let me take over.”

She added: “The truth is they were warned about the problems we face and the energy crisis we face – and there we have it, absolutely nothing to help the people up and down the country who are working themselves into the ground and still struggling to make ends meet.”

Earlier on in PMQs, Ms Rayner and Mr Raab were clashing within minutes of the session over Mr Johnson’s first meeting at the White House with US President Joe Biden.

Ms Rayner said: “Can I begin by offering my commiserations to the Prime Minister after he flew away to the US and made absolutely zero progress on the trade deal that he promised us. And can I ask the Deputy Prime Minister does the Deputy Prime Minister still believe that British workers are among the worst idlers in the world?”

Mr Raab responded: “For a start, I think it is excellent news that because of the engagement we’ve had with the US they have immediately given us the boost to trade and businesses by reinstating travel from the UK to the US.

“When it comes to British workers, can I just say to her that we’ve got payroll employment back to levels we saw before the pandemic, we’ve got youth employment rising, we’ve got businesses advertising over a million jobs at a record high, and the fastest economic growth in the G7 this year.”

PMQs opened with the Deputy Prime Minister responding to the call for more face-to-face GP appointments.

He told the Commons: “While appointment numbers have returned to pre-pandemic levels, of course patients, the public, rightly expect to see their GP face-to-face where it’s necessary.”

Mr Raab said extra funding is being provided to deal with the NHS backlog and social care.

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