Rayner denies spending taxpayers’ money on Apple devices is ‘luxury’

GMB shuts down Angela Rayner with brutal swipe

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Angela Rayner spent hundreds of pounds of taxpayers’ money on an iPad and Airpods. She has denied that the purchases, which included a pair of £249 personalised AirPods, were “luxury”. The Deputy Labour leader said she needed the Apple equipment to “sync” for work purposes. When asked whether her spending habits were excessive, Ms Rayner said the equipment was “everyday expenditure”, noting that it is free to personalise the AirPods.

Pressed on whether she could have purchased cheaper IT equipment, she said: “All of my equipment has to sync with each other so that I can carry out my work and people will understand that, and I wouldn’t say that it’s luxury to have computer equipment that is everyday expenditure for somebody that works with computers every day for their job.

“I can’t imagine that that’s the same as dining out at luxury venues and putting it on the corporate credit card. That is not what I have been doing and I have transparency in the way in which I operate and people can see that.

“To spend £2,000 on electronic equipment in three years to do my job, I don’t think anyone listening to this would see that as luxury.”

Mr Rayner’s defence of her spending habits comes after the Labour party criticised the Conservatives for “excessive” spending of taxpayers’ money.

The Tories were accused of acting like it is “the last days of Rome” by splashing out on government credit cards.

The Labour party published an investigation on Monday, showing that ministers and officials racked up almost £150 million on Government procurement cards (GPCs) in the space of one year.

The party expressed concern about “lax controls” over GPCs and “unchecked spending sprees engaged in by multiple departments across Whitehall at the end of each financial year”.

It alleged there was “excessive spending” on “extravagant events, expensive restaurants, high-end catering, five-star hotels, lavish gifts and hospitality, luxury furnishings and fabrics, unnecessary corporate branding, non-essential training, high-priced awayday venues, and the purchase of alcohol at taxpayers’ expense”.

Mr Rayner said the spending was not appropriate during the cost of living crisis.

Speaking to Sky News, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition said: “We’ve seen scandal and we’ve seen sleaze, we’ve seen billions of pounds wasted under the Conservative government that we have now, and no action to clear up this mess.

“[These] cards are a way of bypassing the normal auditing process.

“And we see when it comes to the end of the financial year, big jumps in the spend and we’ve seen expenditure which is just not justifiable during the cost of living crisis.

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“So there has to be transparency and there has to be regulation of the use of these cards.”

Ms Rayner said Labour would create an “Office of Value for Money” to “get tough on waste”.

The Labour Party has been contacted for comment.

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