Angela Rayner has accused Dominic Raab of “snobbery” after he made a jibe about her attending an opera.
The Labour deputy leader told the justice secretary he needed to “learn a lesson about opening up the arts to everyone, whatever their background”.
Raab winked at Rayner before suggesting she was a “champagne socialist” for attending the Glyndebourne Festival Opera.
Last week The Telegraph published photographs of Rayner sipping bubbles before watching the Marriage of Figaro at the same time as a strike by the RMT brought the rail network to a halt.
At prime minister’s questions, Raab said: “Where was she when the comrades were on the picket line last Thursday? Where was she when the Labour front bench 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.”
In a statement after the Commons clash, Rayner hit back: “My advice to the deputy prime minister is to cut out the snobbery and brush up on his opera.
“The Marriage of Figaro is the story of a working-class woman who gets the better of a privileged but dim-witted villain.
“Judging by his own performance today, Dominic Raab could learn a lesson about opening up the arts to everyone, whatever their background.”
Raab’s actions were labelled “bizarre” by critics, while Labour MP Toby Perkins tweeted: “I will never unsee Dominic Raab’s wink from the despatch box at Angela Rayner. I feel soiled.”
Rayner replied on Twitter: “Imagine how I feel!”