'They've Given Up': Angela Rayner Mocks The Tories As Sunak Dodges PMQs Again

Labour's deputy leader pokes fun at deputy prime minister Oliver Dowden.
Angela Rayner
Angela Rayner

Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner said the Conservatives have “given up” after Rishi Sunak yet again skipped PMQs.

Deputy prime minister Oliver Dowden took Sunak’s place in the Commons on Wednesday for the weekly clash.

Standing in for Keir Starmer, Rayner said she was “glad” to face Dowden across the chamber.

“I think I am right in saying I have the pleasure again next week? Two weeks on the trot. They really have given up,” she said.

In a reference to tensions between Rayner and Keir Starmer, Dowden hit back: “It may come as surprise to the right honourable lady, but some leaders trust their deputies to stand in for them.”

Sunak missed PMQs to attend a service over the road from parliament in Westminster Abbey to mark the 75th anniversary of the NHS.

He will also miss a showdown with Starmer next week in order to attend the Nato summit in Lithuania.

Rishi Sunak is at the bottom of the league of PMs going back to 1979
Rishi Sunak is at the bottom of the league of PMs going back to 1979
Labour Party

It will mean since becoming PM in October, Sunak will have missed six of the 29 PMQs.

An analysis by the Labour Party showed he has already missed as many PMQs as Boris Johnson did during his three years in No.10.

During a grilling by Labour MP Chris Bryant at the liaison committee yesterday, Sunak defended his decision to miss the next two sessions.

“Are you suggesting I shouldn’t attend the Nato summit on behalf of the UK?” the prime minister said.

Bryant told him: “No. I’m suggesting that you should be attending PMQs.”

During PMQs, the SNP’s Mhari Black - who announced she is stepping down as an MP at the election - also poked fun at Dowden and the electoral chances of the Tories.

“We did join this place at the same time, and I’m pretty sure we’ll be leaving at the same time,” she said.


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