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Angela Rayner mocks Dominic Raab over PMV bullying allegations | LF


Angela Rayner used an outing from the Deputy Chiefs at Prime Minister’s Questions to mock Dominic Raab for the bullying allegations against him, asking Raab if he will ‘walk before he is pushed’.

In often sour exchanges between the pair, Raab – who denies bullying public officials – called Rayner’s portrayal of Tories “scum”.

The couple appeared in PMQs as Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer attended the funeral of Betty Boothroyd, the first woman to speak in the Commons.

Rayner, who used his questions to focus on the government’s crime record, pointed to the announcement this week of measures to tackle anti-social behavior, using it as an opportunity to focus on the multiple allegations of intimidation and abusive behavior made against Raab by officials in a range of departments.

“I’ll give him some credit,” Rayner said. “The Deputy Prime Minister knows firsthand the misery caused by thugs and their intimidating behavior, working with menace, exploding in fits of rage, creating a culture of fear and possibly even throwing things. As part of his new anti-social behavior plans, does he think more bullies will be brought to justice?

Referring to comments made by Rayner ahead of the Labor conference in 2021, for which she later apologized, Raab replied, “I can reassure the house that I have never called anyone ‘scum’.”

The rest of the exchanges saw Rayner follow Starmer’s lead in recent weeks in pointing to the government’s record on crime, including backlogs in court cases and low charge rates for rape and other sexual offences.

“It’s not just his department where antisocial behavior spirals out of control. This is happening all over the country, ”began Rayner, saying ministers had overseen a sharp drop in the number of neighborhood police officers.

“Nobody believes there are more police on the streets and nobody feels safer anymore,” Rayner said. “Women don’t feel safe on the streets of Britain, always looking over our shoulder as we rush to our front door. So can he tell me: under his direction as secretary to justice, what is the charge rate for rape?

After Raab instead spoke of an increase in convictions, Rayner said he was “too ashamed of the response” that 1.6% of reported rape cases are charged.

Rayner continued, “A woman has the worst experience of her life. She finds the courage to relive this horrible experience, to tell the police in detail about her attack, but she has only a 1.6% chance that action will be taken.

She asked Raab to apologize for this and for what she said was a typical three-year gap for rape trials to be completed. Raab did not, saying instead that the pandemic and strikes had exacerbated legal delays.

“Not a word of apology, no sense of responsibility and not even a shred of shame,” Rayner said, noting that with a formal investigation into the bullying allegations against Raab expected to be reported soon, it “could be his last PMQs”.

She said: “The reality is that as people in Britain feel increasingly unsafe, he seems to be spending all his time trying to save his own job and none of his time at his actual job.

“Largest backlog ever. Rape victims are waiting for justice. And through it all, he has managed to rack up 24 official complaints from his own officials. So can he say today: will you he walk before being pushed?

Raab responded by accusing Rayner of resorting to “the bluster of political expediency”.

theguardian

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