Look out, Carrie! Boris Johnson flirts with Angela Rayner over her leadership ambitions as she admits she has ‘aspirations’ for No10 during a VERY jovial PMQs (while her boss languishes in Covid isolation… again)

  • Ms Rayner, 41, clashed with the PM over the UK’s cost of living crisis at PMQs 
  • Clad in pearls she targeted his refusal to consider a cut to VAT to help families
  • She was standing in for Sir Keir Starmer as he isolated with Covid for sixth time

Boris Johnson and Angela Rayner set sparks flying with an energetic display at Prime Minister’s Questions in which Labour’s deputy leader made clear her designs on power. 

Glamourous granny Ms Rayner, 41, clashed with the PM over the UK’s cost of living crisis as the Commons returned from its Christmas break.

Clad in pearls she targeted his refusal to consider a cut to VAT to help hard-pressed families amid surging energy prices, rising inflation and upcoming tax rises that will add hundreds to their monthly bills.

She was standing in for Opposition Leader Sir Keir Starmer as he isolated with Covid – his sixth time in quarantine. 

And it made for a tempestuous display that led watchers on social media to suggest the pair – who have massively divergent political views – were flirting with each other.

A grinning and freshly groomed Mr Johnson hit back at her attacks on the cost of living by pointing out that her many party roles included shadow minister for the future of work.

The thrice-married PM added ‘we all know what job she wants’ – an allusion to claims that she would like to replace Sir Keir. 

And Ms Rayner, her long auburn locks flowing, did little to dampen that suggestion when she fired back: ‘I’ve heard on the grapevine there might be a vacancy for Prime Minister soon, so maybe I should show aspiration.’

Glamourous granny Ms Rayner, 41, clashed with the PM over the UK’s cost of living crisis as the Commons returned from its Christmas break.

Clad in pearls she targeted his refusal to consider a cut to VAT to help hard-pressed families amid surging energy prices, rising inflation and upcoming tax rises that will add hundreds to their monthly bills.

Mr Johnson hit back at her attacks, saying ‘we all know what job she wants’ – an allusion to claims that she would like to replace Sir Keir

It made for a tempestuous display that led watchers on social media to suggest the pair – who have massively divergent political views – were flirting with each other.

She urged the PMto be more ‘aspirational for this country’, as working families are ‘picking up the tab for his incompetence’.

In front of a mostly full and mask-wearing House of Commons she said: ‘The Prime Minister pretends it is not his fault, he blames the global forces, he blames the market. We are an aspirational party, maybe the Prime Minister needs to be more aspirational for this country.

‘But, the Prime Minister has made political choices that has led us into this place. His Government has failed to invest in long-term energy security, his Government decided to let gas storages collapse. His Government let the energy market run out of control. 27 energy companies have gone bust in the last year. And now, household bills are going through the roofs.’

She added: ‘Can the Prime Minister see what is happening yet again? Working families are picking up the tab for his incompetence.

Mr Johnson replied: ‘She talks about energy. I think the House would agree that she has got a lot more energy than the current leader of the opposition.’

Ms Rayner told the Commons ‘even the Tory backbenchers have finally accepted Labour’s call to cut VAT’ on energy bills.

Ms Rayner said: ‘So will he (Boris Johnson) finally stand up to his Chancellor and do the same?’

Prime Minister Boris Johnson replied: ‘They now have the effrontery, having campaigned and she did too, didn’t she?

‘Oh yes, she campaigned to remain in the EU. Oh yes, she did. They now they have the bare-faced cheek to come to this House of Commons and say that they want to cut VAT on fuel when everybody knows and he did too, everybody knows full well it would be absolutely impossible if they were to do what Labour would do and go back into the EU, remain aligned with the EU single market. That is the objective of the Labour Party. They can’t be trusted on Brexit and they can’t be trusted with the economy.’

Sir Keir’s Covid isolation curse

Sir Keir has been repeatedly dogged by Covid isolation in the past two years. Although he has had the virus twice he has been forced to quarantine a further four times after coming into contact with cases but not being affected himself.

September 14, 2020

Sir Keir announces he is going into quarantine after a member of his family showed coronavirus-type symptoms. He made the announcement hours after taking a phone-in in the LBC radio studios in London. Sir Keir lives with wife Victoria and their son and daughter in north London. Aides say Sir Keir has not shown any signs of the disease himself. Angela Rayner steps in for him at Prime Minister’s Questions.

December 5, 2020

Sir Keir is forced to self-isolate and work from home after a member of his private office tested positive. He completed the then mandatory 14-day isolation, despite the party saying he was ‘well and not showing any symptoms’. 

January 25, 2021

Sir Keir becomes the latest politician to be pinged by NHS test and Trace, saying he has been ‘notified that I must self-isolate after coming into contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19’. Again he has no symptoms and works from home. 

July 21, 2021

Sir Keir is forced to self isolate after one of his children tests positive for Covid. He was notified at lunchtime on the Wednesday after having faced Boris Johnson at Prime Minister’s Questions – and having passed Covid tests that morning. He tweeted: ‘I know it’s my responsibility to follow the rules.’

October 27, 2021

The Opposition leader is forced to miss both Prime Minister’s Questions and the response to Rishi Sunak’s Budget after testing positive. Former party leader Ed Miliband steps in at PMQs while shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves deputises against her opposite number.

January 5, 2022

Sir Keir again tests positive hours before Prime Minister’s Questions, this time on Parliament’s first day back from Christmas recess. 

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