Up against a winking Dominic Raab, Angela Rayner was the serious politician

Labour’s deputy leader won the battle of the stand-ins at Prime Minister’s Questions, writes John Rentoul

<p>Rayner, although undisciplined, conveyed infinitely more seriousness of purpose than the man trying to patronise her</p>

Rayner, although undisciplined, conveyed infinitely more seriousness of purpose than the man trying to patronise her

If you want politics as entertainment, the Angela versus Dominic show was an improvement on the usual Prime Minister’s Questions, although the secret of good comedy is ruthless editing, and both sides could have done with a good editor.

The opening repartee was of decent quality, with Rayner, the Labour deputy leader, picking up on the prime minister’s comment to the travelling press in Rwanda that he was looking to the 2030s. She asked Raab if the cabinet would support the prime minister for that long.

Raab said the cabinet wanted him to stay for longer than she wanted her leader to. She responded with a counterattack on the spur of the moment, not something we are used to seeing from that side of the Commons. She agreed that she didn’t want Sir Keir Starmer to be leader of the opposition for much longer – “what I want for my right hon friend is for him to be prime minister of this country”.

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