The government faced criticism for its record on crime and Angela Rayner mocked Dominic Raab about the bullying allegations he is facing at this week's session of prime minister's questions (PMQs).
With prime minister Rishi Sunak and leader of the opposition Keir Starmer attending the funeral of Baroness Betty Boothroyd - the House of Commons' first and only female speaker - the weekly session fell to their respective deputies, Raab and Rayner to take to the stage where Rayner dragged the Tories over the coals over crime.
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The two discussed the government's failure to convict rapists and Raab accused Rayner of political "opportunism".
Here, we summarise their full exchange and how we rated it.
Rayner: "The deputy prime minister knows first hand the misery caused by thugs and their intimidating behaviour," 7/10
Rayner started proceedings by challenging Raab on the government's new anti-social behaviour plan - a suite of policies which include banning laughing gas and making it easier for landlords to evict tenants.
Rather than go in directly on this, Rayner referenced the investigation into alleged bullying Raab is facing, claims he denies.
This was pretty cheeky, but pretty funny as well.
\u201cAngela Rayner kicks off #pmqs by asking Dominic Raab about the government\u2019s new anti social behaviour intervention: \n\n\u201cdoes he think more bullies will be brought to justice?\u201d\u201d— Jim Pickard (@Jim Pickard) 1680087941
Raab: "I've never called anyone 'scum' 6/10
But to be fair, this was a strong comeback too - Raab referenced the time Rayner called Tories "scum" at Labour's annual conference in 2021.
She later apologised for her remarks, but the language was divisive so it was fair for Raab to bring up in retaliation to concern about his own conduct.
Rayner: "The Conservatives are missing in action in the fight against crime" 8/10
With discourse descending into playground fighting, Rayner changed tack and criticised the Tories over cuts the police and failures to convict rapist. When she said that only 1.6 per cent of rapists are charged for their crimes, the house fell silent, and the two debated whether the Tories were doing well in handling the justice system.
\u201cDominic Raab absolutely dragged by an incandescent Rayner over awful rape charge rates. Keeps switching to talking about conviction rates.\n\n@AngelaRayner: "69% [conviction rate] of 1.6% [charge rate]. Is that really something to boast about?" ~AA #PMQs\u201d— Best for Britain (@Best for Britain) 1680088737
Raab: "She always comes with her usual bluster and political opportunism" 3/10
When Rayner then reminded Raab of the allegations against him and asked if he would quit his ministerial job, the terse Tory accused her of being opportunistic before rattling off a list of his government's 'achievements'.
And with that, the exchange was over, with the floor opened to other MPs to question Raab.
With Rayner's cheeky opening remarks, it looked like the session would be pretty farcical with more jibes and jokes than substantial political debate about serious issues.
But she turned things around with her well-informed questions about rape convictions and seemed on top of her brief as she recited truly depressing statistics about the number of women struggling to secure justice.
She didn't just have statistics up her sleeve, and she also hammered home the devastating impact that rape has on women with a formidable tone.
Raab seemed flustered and irritated to be there but also very careful - as if he was walking a tightrope. Maybe that was because the subject matter was too serious to appear flippant, or maybe he was concerned about appearing aggressive given the allegations against him.
Either away, it made him come across as pretty feeble, so Rayner takes the win.
\u201cRaab really floundering today under questioning from Rayner and Black. Feels like a final outing #PMQs\u201d— Adam Bienkov (@Adam Bienkov) 1680088818
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