Angela Rayner defends Apple kit on expenses amid Whitehall spend row
Angela Rayner defends buying an iPad and £249 ‘personalised’ AirPods on expenses as she slams ‘scandalous’ spending on government procurement cards
Angela Rayner was grilled on her expenses claims for Apple kit today as she laid into government waste.
The Deputy Labour Leader defended purchasing an iPad and £249 ‘personalised’ AirPods with her MP funds.
It previously emerged that the Apple products were bought during the Covid lockdown in 2020 along with a new iPad that cost around £1,600.
But in a round of interviews this morning, Ms Rayner dismissed comparisons with spending on government procurement cards – which Labour has condemned as ‘scandalous’.
‘I’m actually using the equipment right now as I’m speaking to you on the iPad,’ she told Times Radio.
‘This is what I’m using to do my job – in fact I think it’s three years old now – to do my work as an MP and it’s totally transparent.
Angela Rayner was grilled on her expenses claims for Apple kit today as she laid into government waste in a round of interviews today
It previously emerged that the Apple AirPods were purchased in 2020 along with a new iPad that cost around £1,600
‘I don’t think the £1,600 on that is the same as millions of pounds that is being used on these credit cards in an inappropriate way.
‘You know, we need to make sure there’s transparency and that the public are getting value for money.
‘I can absolutely justify my use of using electronic equipment to do my job, especially when I’m not – during the pandemic – when I wasn’t in the office in Westminster.
‘And as I say, now I’m speaking to you on that very iPad that was purchased.’
Labour slammed ‘lavish’ spending on Whitehall payment cards today – with thousands of pounds spent on luxury restaurants, hotels, bars and even art.
Debit-card style GPCs are the preferred civil service method of buying lower-value goods or services, with authorised individuals able to conduct transactions up to a value of around £20,000.
The Labour dossier showed that across 2021, a total of at least £145.5million was spent by 14 Whitehall departments using GPCs. The Ministry of Defence was said to have failed to provide details.
The figure was up from £84.9million in 2010-11 in the equivalent departments, although around £20million of the difference can be explained through inflation.
Ipsa previously released copies of the receipts for Ms Rayner’s Apple purchases
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