Angela Rayner: what deputy Labour leader said on GMB when quizzed about Airpods expenses
The deputy Labour leader defended her claims on Good Morning Britain
Kate Garaway and Ben Shepherd grilled the Labour MP during her appearance on the show on March 11.
The deputy leader had been on the show defending opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer’s handling of the pandemic.
Rayner defended the claim, saying that it was necessary for carrying out her job.
What did Rayner say on Good Morning Britain?
Garaway questioned Rayner’s decision to buy Apple products using her government expenses.
She said: "one of the things you’ve been accused of is putting in an expenses claim for your AirPods.
"Now, you may argue that that was necessary in a tech world when you’re trying to operate in lockdown, but that doesn’t look good and it’s very easy to point the finger isn’t it?"
Angela Rayner retorted that the £249 spent on Airpods was nothing compared to the money wasted by the government in its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
She said: "well, £249 on a pair of AirPods so that I can carry out my job, which on average I use four hours a day now on Zooms, is nowhere near billions of pounds that has been wasted on contracts to people with no experience whatsoever
Rayner added: "so, my answer is that we wouldn’t mismanage the finances going forward, we would ensure that the management of finances is prudent as it should be, as it’s taxpayer’s money and reward the workers that have been on the front line, putting their lives at risk and give them the pay rise that they deserve."
What expenses did Angela Rayner claim?
The Sun revealed on February 28 that Rayner had claimed expenses on a number of Apple products.
According to the tabloid Rayner claimed £249 Air Pods and £1,619 on an iPad Pro.
They say that she also claimed expenses on an Apple Smart folio, an Apple keyboard and and Apple pencil.
In total she spent £2100 on office expenses. This is some way shy of the £10,000 allowance that MPs were offered to spend on kitting out home offices.
What did Rayner say about Sir Keir Starmer?
Angela Rayner defended Sir Keir Starmer’s approach to handling the pandemic as leader of the opposition on Thursday morning.
“Keir Starmer made a decision, which I think was the right one, to try and be constructive, and to ensure that we gave constructive opposition that worked in the national interest,” she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
“And that’s what we focused on. Now I know some people felt that that was giving them an easy ride, it wasn’t.
“It’s incredibly frustrating, especially when you see the kids not getting the laptops they need, when they’re not giving them the food, when the billions of pounds has been squandered.
“We’ve highlighted those things but we’ve tried to be constructive.”