Dominic Raab branded a ‘dirty old man’ over Rayner ‘wink’ excuse


Prime Minister’s Questions is a hellscape most of the time, as the theatrical nature of it means we spend more time discussing whether Angela Rayner crossed her legs to “distract” Boris Johnson, or whether the Tory leader called Jeremy Corbyn a “big girl’s blouse” .

Now it’s deputy prime minister and justice secretary Dominic Raab who’s doing a great job of boosting PMQs… by appearing to wink at Ms Rayner during this week’s clash.

The incident is believed to have occurred after Mr Raab asked her “where was she when the comrades were on the picket line last Thursday”, in reference to the week of rail strikes last week.

He went on to answer his own question and added: “She was at the Glyndebourne music festival, sipping champagne, listening to opera.”

Cue the Esher and Walton MP claiming “champagne socialism is back in the Labor party”, and a wink across the dispatch box which we’re still trying to erase from our memory.

In a statement issued after PMQs, Ms Rayner hit back and said: “My advice to the deputy prime minister is to cut out the snobbery and brush up on his opera.

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The Marriage of Figaro is the story of a working-class woman who gets the better of a privileged but dim-witted villain.”

Ouch.

As the internet continues to recoil over the wink, allies of Mr Raab have told The Times he was in fact directing the gesture at Ian Murray MP, Labor’s shadow secretary of state for Scotland, who was “braying loudly”.

Mr Murray himself cast doubt on the comment, tweeting on Wednesday that “to claim he was winking at me is more than hilarious”.

Meanwhile, a Labor Party source rubbished the excuse, as per the Daily Mail, and said: “The deputy prime minister winking like a dirty old man at Ian? I doubt it.”

Whether you think Raab aimed at it at Ms Rayner or Mr Murray, we’re of the opinion that winking shouldn’t be appearing in UK politics at all.

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