A day after kicking lumps out of him at PMQs, Angela Rayner has renewed her spat with Dominic Raab, publicly fact-checking his claim that grace-and-favour pad Chevening is a charity.
Standing in for Keir Starmer in the Commons yesterday, Rayner – Labour’s deputy leader – accused Raab f “complaining” about having to share the “115-room taxpayer-funded mansion” with Liz Truss, his successor as foreign secretary.
Zeroing in on the government’s planned cut to Universal Credit, Rayner said: “Families across the country are worried about heating their homes while he’s complaining about having to share his 115-room taxpayer-funded mansion with the foreign secretary – the truth hurts, doesn’t it? – just as his government are making choices that are making working families’ lives harder.
“A typical family is facing a tough winter this year: Universal Credit down a thousand quid; rent up 150 quid; gas bills up 150 quid; taxes up and food prices are soaring.
“Working people will have to choose whether to feed their kids or heat their homes.
“The choice for the deputy prime minister is will he make their lives easier or harder? So what will he choose – will the Government cancel the Universal Credit cut?”
She added that he should “go back to his sun lounger and let me take over, to which Raab replied: “She should check her facts as Chevening is funded by a charity, not a penny of taxpayers’ money.”
But Rayner returned to the scene of the crime on Thursday, tweeting that Chevening does not appear on the Charity Commission website and so is not, in fact, a charity.
She continued: “Chevening has received taxpayers’ money whilst the Conservatives have been in office.
“The estate is exempt from paying taxes, so the taxpayer does in fact subsidise and therefore fund the estate.
“The Chevening Estate Act says that the trust is not a charity.
“But more importantly, why is Dominic Raab trying to justify the fact that he is more concerned with fighting over access to a 115 room mansion than he is with millions of families who are going to have to choose between eating and heating? He’s so out of touch it hurts.”
Rayner added: “Finally, I know Dominic Raab is a lawyer and according to the papers he is a “details man” who likes to be across every detail.
“I know it hurts being corrected by a girl from a council estate who left school at 16, but I look forward to him correcting the record. Cheers Dom.”