Angela Rayner grilled Boris Johnson so perfectly with her PMQs question he waffled for 111 seconds

Joshua Zitser
Wednesday 16 September 2020 12:15
news

In her first outing at PMQs, Angela Rayner managed to leave Boris Johnson tongue-tied for over a minute.

While deputising for self-isolating Labour leader Keir Starmer, Labour's deputy leader appeared to throw the prime minister into a spin with her first question.

If we're honest, it was pretty gripping viewing... like a car-crash you simply can't look away from, no matter how much you try.

Rayner asked Johnson:

The Prime Minister once earned £2,300 an hour. Can the Prime Minister tell us what the average hourly rate of a care worker is in this country?

Johnson initially deferred answering the question by congratulating Rayner on her elevation. (She's standing in for Starmer while his children get tested for Covid-19).

The prime minister mentioned this, in his awkward ramble, and referred to unconfirmed reports that his family had tested negative.

He followed this with a confusing segue into the general discussion of coronavirus testing. He then moved towards talking about care homes but failed to address the initial question directed at him.

Instead of saying that care workers receive an average of £8.41 an hour, he concluded his response by mentioning the National Living Wage.

Needless to say, it was all very excruciating and there was umm-ing and ahh-ing aplenty.

When the PM had finished (after what felt like an eternity), Rayner bounced back from her seat and said: "He's finished, OK."

She continued:

The whole country would have seen that the prime minister doesn’t know how much a care worker owns because that was my question.

It was an iconic moment.

Later, on social media, she doubled-down on her grilling by calling Johnson “out of touch”.

111 seconds certainly seems like a long time to not answer a question.

After this week's PMQs, it's likely the prime minister is hoping Angela Rayner’s “elevation” doesn’t become permanent.

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