Thursday, 1 Jun 2023

Starmer and Rayner branded the 'Phil and Holly of politics' in heated PMQs

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Sir Keir Starmer and Angela Rayner have been branded the ‘Phil and Holly of British politics’.

Oliver Dowden and the deputy Labour leader went head-to-head in today’s session of Prime Minister’s Questions.

Shortly after taking to her feet, Ms Rayner was forced to defend her relationship with Sir Keir – which the Conservatives claimed was secretly strained.

Mr Dowden, deputy prime minister, described the pair as ‘the Phil and Holly of British politics’ and said they were ‘at each other’s throats’.

He told the Commons: ‘We all know what is going on with her and her leader. It’s all lovey dovey on the surface.

‘They turn it on for the cameras but as soon as they’re off it’s a different story – they’re at each other’s throats.’

The comments comes amid reports of a rift between the This Morning presenters, who have presented the show together since 2009.

Ms Rayner responded to Mr Dowden’s comments with a series of quips of her own during the heated exchange.

She described it as a ‘pleasure’ to welcome another deputy PM to the Commons, adding ‘third time’s a charm.’

During Ms Rayner’s time as deputy Labour leader, there have been three deputy PMs within the Conservative Party.

‘The prime minister has a working class friend, finally’ she added, pointing to Mr Dowden’s non-private school background.

Ms Rayner berated her Tory colleague on his party’s stance on child poverty, stating they had taken ‘a wrecking ball’ to measures introduced by the last Labour government.

She asked: ‘Can he tell us what level of poverty he considers to be a success?’

Mr Dowden responded: ‘This comprehensive schoolboy is not going to take any lectures from the party opposite about the lives of working people.’

More to follow.

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