Rayner: PM ‘does not play by the rules’, sleaze ‘has undermined our democracy’

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Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner has claimed the Prime Minister “does not play by the rules” as she warned the political sleaze row “has undermined our democracy”.

Ms Rayner, who previously apologised for branding senior Tories “scum”, called for a meeting with the Prime Minister over use of language.

Asked if Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer using his Commons office for Zoom calls with the public was inside the rules, she told BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show: “This Prime Minister has allowed corruption and sleaze to enter our politics.

“£3.5 billion has been given in contracts to Tory donors and Tory friends, and a cost of £9 million of donorship to the Conservative Party, this has to be cleaned up.”

Asked about Sir Keir earning £100,000 in legal fees since becoming an MP, she added: “Keir Starmer has given up his certificate to practise and we’ve been very clear, and I will not accept that, somehow, if you look at those that are having lobbyists, that have got contracts for consultancy and how the revolving door between former prime ministers lobbying the Government, the money that’s been wasted, the taxpayers’ money that’s been wasted on dodgy contracts, is absolutely obscene and the sleaze and the scandal and the corruption has undermined our democracy.

“The British public value the fairness and playing by the rules. Boris Johnson does not play by the rules, has broke(n) the rules on numerous occasions and allowed his ministers to, this has undermined our democracy and he needs to clean up the act.”

Asked about Sir Keir advising the Government of Gibraltar, Ms Rayner said: “Me and Keir have been absolutely crystal clear on this and our manifesto has been consistently clear on this since 2015, that we would ban paid consultancy and directorships and lobbyists.”

She added: “I do not accept the premise that what (Sir) Geoffrey Cox was doing, advising a tax haven which is described by the Government as corrupt and using his office to do that, in any way, shape or form the same as Keir Starmer doing some legal work when he was first an MP, that is not the same.”

She went on: “We’ve said that we’d set up a commission for integrity and ethics to make sure that it’s fit for purpose so that we’re always working in the interests of the British public.

“We’ve said that we’d ban second jobs but there will be some areas like where we’ve got an A&E doctor that’s practising at the moment, so that they can continue to do that because they need that for their professional practice.”

She added: “Sleaze after sleaze, corruption after corruption, we’ve got to end this now because it really undermines public trust and confidence in our Government.”

Ms Rayner urged a meeting with the Prime Minister over use of language.

She said: “I have asked Boris Johnson to meet with me because I did lay some serious allegations, because of his past comments I have said about them being homophobic, racist and misogynist, and I have asked for him to meet with me to discuss that because I actually think all of us have a responsibility around our language.

“I have apologised for using that language (Tory “scum”), I absolutely stand by that apology, but I do think that others including the Prime Minister should apologise for the language that he’s used in the past which has led to public discourse as well.”

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