PMQs: did Dominic Raab wink at Angela Rayner - what did he say, and how has deputy Labour leader responded?

The deputy Prime Minister was standing in for Boris Johnson at PMQs, with the Prime Minister attending a NATO conference in Madrid

Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab certainly made his mark while leading PMQs after appearing to wink at deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner.

The bizzare moment happened during an exchange between the pair - who were both standing in for their absent leaders.

Mr Raab, who was standing in for prime minister Boris Johnson while he attended a NATO summit in Madrid, has been accused of sexism in wake of the incident, however a source close to the deputy prime minister has vehmently denied the allegations.

Did Dominic Raab wink at Angela Rayner?

The wink moment came after Ms Rayner had quoted Mr Raab’s past view that people who use food banks “simply have a cash flow problem”.

The fixed camera angle means that we can’t see exactly who the deputy Prime Minister was winking at, but a source has said that it was not directed towards Ms Rayner.

Instead, Mr Raab was said to have been winking at a comment made by shadow Scotland secretary Ian Murray.

What did Dominic Raab say to Angela Rayner?

The moment came as the pair faced off in a discussion about the recent rail strikes.

After Ms Rayner accused the deputy prime minister of being hypocritial over his comments of foodbanks in the past, Mr Raab accused her of “flip-flopping” and going back on comments she made about the RMT industrial action.

Dominic Raab faced off against Angela Rayner in this week’s PMQs. (Credit: parliamentlive.tv)

He said: “She was asked by the BBC, straight question, she’s usually a straight-shooting politician, ‘do you like the RMT?’ she said ‘I’m going to have to go now, I’ve got a train to catch’.”

It was after this comment that Dominic Raab winked.

Mr Murray is said to have made a comment about it being “no bad thing” for Angela Rayner to become leader of the Labour party, which was not heard to viewers of PMQs.

Dominic Raab fired a wink in the direction of the Labour frontbench after accusing Angela Rayner of “flip-flopping” on her comments about the RMT rail strikes. (Credit: Parliamentlive.tv)

Mr Raab continued his confrontation with Ms Rayner, criticising her attendance at an opera performance while the strikes were ongoing.

He said: “She talks about working people. Where was she when the comrades were on the picket line last Thursday? Where was she when the Labour frontbench were joining them rather than standing up for the public?

“She was at the Glyndebourne music festival sipping champagne, listening to opera. Champagne socialism is back in the Labour Party.”

What has Angela Rayner said about the situation?

Mr Raab has been accused of sexism and classism by social media users in the wake of the interaction.

Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner has hit back at Dominic Raab after he made comments about her attending an opera while rail workers were on the picket line. (Credit: Parliamentlive.tv)

Following the PMQs session and the deputy prime minister’s comment about champagne socialism, Ms Rayner said: “My advice to the Deputy Prime Minister is to cut out the snobbery and brush up on his opera.

“The Marriage of Figaro is the story of a working-class woman who gets the better of a privileged but dim-witted villain.”

How has Downing Street responded?

Number 10 has waded into the kickback from the moment, stating that Mr Johnson supports working class people being interested in the arts.

Downing Street has responded to the incident, saying: “The prime minister is clear that everybody should be able to enjoy arts and culture, and other such things across the UK.”