Dominic Raab Says He's Not A Snob And Was Just 'Gently Teasing' Angela Rayner Over Opera

He also denied winking at Labour's deputy leader, saying the gesture was aimed at her colleague Ian Murray.
Rayner and Raab at PMQs
Rayner and Raab at PMQs
Parliament TV

The deputy prime minister said he was just “gently teasing” the Labour deputy leader during their heated exchange at last week’s prime minister’s questions.

Raab condemned Rayner for attending the Glyndebourne Festival Opera while the RMT union strike brought the rail network to a halt.

But Rayner hit back, accusing Raab of “snobbery” and telling him he needed to “learn a lesson about opening up the arts to everyone, whatever their background”.

Asked whether he was a snob, Raab told Times Radio: “No, I think if you’re a self-styled class warrior in the mould that Angie presents herself, if you’ve taken almost £8,000 in donations from the RMT since your election in 2015, if your comrades have been on the picket line with the RMT and on that night, you’re listening to opera and sipping champagne, I think you can expect a bit of gentle teasing.”

He added: “The issue is whether the self-styled class warrior, tub-thumping Tory-bashing, at the time when the RMT is on the picket line and Labour MPs are joining them has actually ducked out of it and is sipping champagne.”

Raab was also asked why he winked at the deputy Labour leader during last Wednesday’s clash, but he insisted the gesture was actually directed at shadow Scottish secretary Ian Murray, who was sitting next to Rayner.

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