How can you even say that? Angela Rayner shouts at Boris Johnson after Labour tax jibe

PMQs: Boris Johnson slams Starmer's 'lust to raise taxes'

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Angela Rayner was spotted attempting to shout down the Prime Minister from the Labour frontbenches during a fierce clash during PMQs in Parliament. Boris Johnson caused Keir Starmer’s Deputy leader to erupt after delivering a brutal jibe at the Labour Party’s record on taxation amid a row over a windfall tax on big oil firms. 

Mr Johnson told MPs: “Nothing could be more transparent from this exchange than their lust to raise taxes.

“We don’t relish it, we don’t want to do it, of course, we don’t want to do it, we believe in jobs and we believe in investment and we believe in growth.”

Mr Rayner shouted out amid clamour from MPs: “How can you even say that?”

The Prime Minister continued: “As it happens, the oil companies concerned are on track to invest about £70 billion into our economy over the next few years, they’re already taxed at a rate of 40 percent.”

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A moment before Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer had urged the Prime Minister to stop the “hokey-cokey” and back Labour’s plan for a windfall tax.

He said: “Last week, he said ‘we will have a look at it’. Yesterday, he voted against it. Anyone picking up the papers today would think they are for it. And now he says he is against it again. Clear as mud.

“To be fair, it’s not like the rest of his Cabinet know what they think either. The same day the Chancellor said it was something he was looking at, the Justice Secretary said it would be disastrous. The Business Secretary called it a bad idea. But also said he would consider a Spanish-style windfall tax. One minute they’re ruling it in. The next, they are ruling it out. When will he stop the hokey-cokey and just back Labour’s plan for a windfall tax to cut household bills?”

Mr Johnson replied: “This country and the world faces problems in the cost of energy driven partly by Covid and partly by [Vladimir] Putin’s war of choice in Ukraine. And we know, we always knew that there will be a a short-term cost in weaning ourselves off Putin’s hydrocarbons, and in sanctioning the Russian economy.

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“Everybody in this House voted for those sanctions. We knew that it would be tough, but I just want to tell the right honourable gentleman that giving in, not sticking the course would ultimately be that far greater economic risk.”

He added: “We will look at measures, we will look at all the measures that we need to take, to get people through to the other side but the only reason we can do that is because we took the tough decisions that were necessary during the pandemic, which would not have been possible if we listened to him.”

Sir Keir said: “Still pretending the economy is booming, still got his head in the sand in the middle of an economic crisis.

“The Prime Minister keeps saying more help is coming, but we’ve heard it all before….The Chancellor said wait until the autumn, at least he’s honest that the plan is to do nothing.

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“But doesn’t the Prime Minister realise that working people across the country can’t afford to wait while he vacillates, it’s time to make his mind up.”

Mr Johnson replied: “I’ll tell you what’s happened in the last month, we’ve got 300,000 more people off welfare and into work, on our way to work programme and it is because we get people into work that those families, those people are £6,000 a year better off.

He added: “His answer in addition to putting up taxes, his answer is to borrow more, we heard it from the shadow chancellor this morning….it means more pressure on interest rates, it means pressure on mortgages, it means pressure on every family, every man, woman and child in this country.

“That’s Labour economy policy, that is why there’s never been a Labour government that left office with unemployment lower than when it came in, that’s the reality.”

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