Steerpike Steerpike

Red-faced Angela Rayner embarrassed over expenses


Labour have been out this morning, trumpeting their much-hyped ‘GPC files’ about the use of government procurement cards. Mr S has had a look and there’s some interesting things in there. But was Angela Rayner really the best choice to lead on this issue? Especially when it was Emily Thornberry who did all the work. It was Rayner whose quotes about ‘lavish spending’ and ‘a scandalous catalogue of waste’ led the Labour attack in the write-ups today, as part of her party’s attempts to paint her as the Prescott-like bruiser to Starmer’s sensible southern style.

Unfortunately though Rayner has form in this area, having once charged the taxpayer £249 for a pair of personalised AirPods which she claimed on expenses – even though Bluetooth headphones can be bought online for as little as £15. So it was to Steerpike’s amusement this morning when the Guardian of all places opted to lead on Rayner’s past claims this morning, headlining its live blog with the words ‘Angela Rayner defends own expenses.’ Not a good sign for Labour when even the Graun turn on you.

Bet that wasn’t on the media grid in Victoria Street…

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Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to or message @MrSteerpike

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