Angela Rayner brands Rishi Sunak 'pint-sized loser' during feisty exchange during PMQs

24 April 2024, 16:44 | Updated: 24 April 2024, 17:33

Angela Rayner and Oliver Dowden clashed in a heated exhange at PMQs
Angela Rayner and Oliver Dowden clashed in a heated exhange at PMQs. Picture: Alamy

By Flaminia Luck

Angela Rayner has described Prime Minister Rishi Sunak - who is 5'7 - as a "pint-sized loser" during a feisty exchange at Prime Minister's Questions.

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With Sunak in Berlin, Rayner and Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden took centre stage in the Commons on Wednesday.

The deputy Labour leader mocked Dowden over rumours he had urged his neighbours in Number 10 to call an election because he's worried they might get "wiped out".

"Has he finally realised that when he stabbed Boris Johnson in the back to get his mate into Number 10 he was ditching their biggest election winner for a pint-sized loser?" she asked.

Read more: More tax cuts still on despite record defence spending boost, Rishi Sunak insists

Angela Rayner calls Sunak ‘pint-sized loser’ during PMQs face-off with Oliver Dowden

Dowden countered the jibes by suggesting the "right honourable landlady" should step down, adding the she might start claiming the House of Commons as her primary residence if the pair were required to deputise again.

Rayner had already began the exchange with a plea for the Conservatives to stop "obsessing" about her living arrangements and instead focus on banning no-fault evictions, saying that after 14 years the Conservative party has "failed renters, they've failed leaseholders and they've failed mortgage-holders".

The Ashton-under-Lyne MP has faced scrutiny about whether she paid the right amount of tax on the 2015 sale of her Stockport council house because of confusion over whether it was her principal residence.

She previously vowed to "do the right thing and step down" if found to have committed a crime - but has remained confident she has followed the law.

Read more: Former Labour minister and crossbench peer Frank Field dies aged 81

The deputy party leader has promised to quit if found she broke the law
The deputy party leader has promised to quit if found she broke the law. Picture: Alamy

Dowden started the debate with: "To begin with, it is a pleasure to have another exchange with (Ms Rayner) in this House, our fifth in 12 months, anymore of these and she'll be claiming it as her principal residence."

Mr Dowden later highlighted the government's plans to boost defence spending, with Ms Rayner saying: "We all want to see 2.5%, the difference is that we haven't cut the army to its smallest size since Napoleon.

"Never mind some secretive deep state, it's the state of the Tory party that's the problem. They're in a deep state of sewage."

Rayner also pressed the government over its plans to reform leasehold and the pair clashed over mayoral election candidates - including in the West Midlands.

Mr Dowden also said: "Her policy to repeal every single Conservative trade union law in the first 100 days would open the door to French-style wildcat strikes."

Ms Rayner joked she was expecting better from Mr Dowden, adding: "He seems to be a bit worn out, maybe it's the 3am calls from the bad men that have been keeping him up at night."

Read more: Horses spooked by 'big bang' when builders' concrete clattered to the ground sparking rampage that left five injured

Oliver Dowden suggested Rayner could start claiming the House of Commons as her principal residence
Oliver Dowden suggested Rayner could start claiming the House of Commons as her principal residence. Picture: Alamy

The investigation into Rayner was prompted by a complaint from Tory deputy chairman James Daly, who is understood to have made police aware of neighbours who contradicted Ms Rayner's statement that a property, separate from her husband's, was her main residency.

Mr Daly alleged she may have made a false declaration about where she was living on the electoral register.

Earlier this month, a spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police said: "We're investigating whether any offences have been committed.

"This follows a reassessment of the information provided to us by Mr Daly."

'Chasing a smear'

On Tuesday, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the Conservatives are "chasing a smear" in raising questions about her taxes.

A Labour spokesperson said: “Angela welcomes the chance to set out the facts with the police.

"We remain completely confident that Angela has complied with the rules at all times and it’s now appropriate to let the police do its work.”

Caller believes the Angela Rayner tax row is just a distraction from other Tory activities

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