'I will never unsee that': Dominic Raab mocked after winking at Angela Rayner

29 June 2022, 14:29

Dominic Raab winked at Angela Rayner during PMQs
Dominic Raab winked at Angela Rayner during PMQs. Picture: ParliamentTV

By Will Taylor

Dominic Raab has been mocked after winking at Angela Rayner during PMQs.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The deputy prime minister deployed the unexpected facial expression as he accused her of being a champagne socialist.

Labour's deputy leader Ms Rayner had asked how many working people "will be pushed into poverty by his Prime Minister before he says enough is enough?"

Mr Raab fired back that Labour should stand up for people against striking unions and criticised her for "flip flopping" over her support for industrial action.

"First she said they were lose-lose. Then she tweeted workers were left with no choice," he told the Commons on Wednesday.

He said when she was asked a "straight question - she's normally a straight shooting politician – 'do you like the RMT?', she said 'I'm going to have to go now, I've got a train to catch'."

Tories behind Mr Raab broke down into fits of loud laughter and he winked at Ms Rayner as he waited for the volume to come down so he could continue.

Later, Labour MP Toby Perkins said: "I will never unsee Dominic Raab's wink from the despatch box at Angela Rayner. I feel soiled."

Ms Rayner tweeted: "Imagine how I feel!"

Read more: Labour's single market rift: Starmer says 'no case' for rejoining despite call from Khan

Continuing his attack during PMQs, Mr Raab said: "She talks about working people. Where was she when the comrades were on the picket line last Thursday?

"Where was she when the Labour frontbench were joining them rather than standing up for the public?"

"She was at the Glyndebourne music festival sipping champagne, listening to opera. Champagne socialism is back in the Labour Party."

That remark led to criticism that he was mocking working class women for enjoying high culture.

A Downing Street spokesperson said: "The Prime Minister is clear that everybody should be able to enjoy arts and culture, and other such things across the UK."

Ms Rayner tweeted that while the deputy prime minister knows karate, she had put on her kung fu pandas ahead of the contest.

Read more: Putin a 'lunatic with small man syndrome' says minister as PM blasts 'toxic masculinity'

It comes weeks after a row broke out over a Mail on Sunday article in which a Tory MP said Ms Rayner had crossed her legs during PMQs to try and distract Boris Johnson.

Boris Johnson threatened to unleash the "terrors of the earth" on whoever made the claim

But the row carried on when a Tory source said the party had found Ms Rayner made the comments herself – something a Labour source dismissed as "vile sexist smears".