On January 5th Keir Starmer missed PMQs with another dose of Covid. Angela Rayner stood in for him against Boris, and the pundits and sketch writers enjoyed the spectacle. It’s worth having a look back at what they said in the context of yesterday’s Twitter hoo-ha:
Amanda Platell wrote under the saucy headline “Angela won it in a flash”
No wonder Boris Johnson got in a fluster at this week’s Prime Minister’s Questions when confronted by Angela Rayner, standing in for serial Covid patient Sir Keir Starmer. Wearing a chic dress that showed off her thighs, the Labour deputy leader was channelling her inner Sharon Stone. Boris has always had a tendresse for women with basic instincts.
So memorable was the event that Platell came back to the subject in another column a couple of weeks later
A slinky, daringly slashed dress in a becoming shade of pale gold complemented her svelte form, sleek red locks and perfectly applied make-up – with a string of fake pearls at her throat as a finishing touch. It was a boisterous and teasing encounter as she took on Boris over the cost of living crisis – while also conceding her own leadership ambitions. Some went so far as to suggest the pair were actually flirting!
Henry Deedes had noted in his sketch merely that “The dress was flirty, rather daringly split to the thigh.”
Lloyd Evans noted “She and Boris flirted constantly, which may not be a good thing…. If she loathes him and believes his government is impoverishing millions, why does she beam and pout at him all the time, and latch her lasers on his hulking frame?” In fact many others noticed the supposedly flirtatious nature of the debate. The oddest thing about this row is that from Boris’s vantage point, and with Rayner sat behind her despatch box, the line of sight for Boris means it is almost certain that he was unable to see Angela’s legs. Whereas the pundits and sketch writers side on got an eyeful…