Anglea Rayner has told Dominic Raab to “go back to his sun-lounger” and let her takeover, as the pair clashed during PMQs.
Labour’s deputy leader went head-to-head with the deputy prime minister on Wednesday, as Boris Johnson is in the United States.
Amid an energy crisis and a shortage in the supply of CO2, Rayner accused the government of failing to help people struggling to pay bills at the same time as “cutting the income of a worker on £18,000 a year by over £1,100” with tax rises.
“I notice we have a shortage of hot air this week – just as the prime minister isn’t here, but the deputy prime minister is doing his best to shore up supplies,” she said.
“The truth is they were warned about the problems we face and the energy crisis we face.
“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.”
Raab, who was demoted from foreign secretary in Johnson’s cabinet reshuffle, was widely criticised for being on holiday as Taliban took control of Afghanistan.
Rayner told Raab at PMQs: “Maybe he should go back to his sun-lounger and let me take over.
“A typical family is facing a tough winter this year: Universal Credit down a thousand quid; rent up 150 quid; gas bills up 150 quid; taxes up and food prices are soaring. Working people will have to choose whether to feed their kids or heat their homes.”
She added: “He talks about the economy, he doesn’t even know how much his own holiday cost.”
Raab hit back that Labour’s plan to “nationalise the energy companies” would be “disastrous” for energy bills. “There’s no shortage of hot air on that side of the benches,” he added.