James Tapsfield, Mailonline Political Editor
Updated May 26, 2023 13:27, May 26, 2023 13:38
Angela Rayner appears to have stocked up on premium Apple AirPods and has repaid a £139 expense claim.
The Labor deputy leader charged taxpayers that amount in December for “office earphones.”
But the money was returned to the Independent Congressional Standards Office (IPSA) this week after questions arose over the deal. Tories said he acted because Reiner was “caught red-handed.”
The cost section doesn’t specify the details of the kit, but £139 is the retail price for the second-generation AirPods.
Rainer’s office did not deny that the earphones were Apple technology.
“These costs were covered privately and Ipsa was reimbursed accordingly,” a spokeswoman for the lawmaker said.
Officials stressed that the repayments were completely voluntary and did not violate any rules.
A Conservative official said Mr Reiner “just apologized because he was caught red-handed”.
“Sir Kier’s front bench has taken pips. Labor should turn to the music, pull out the AirPods and listen to the British public for once,” the source added.
Earlier this year, Ms Rainer launched a strong defense of buying £249 “personalized” AirPods.
The earbuds were purchased alongside a new iPad for around £1,600 during the 2020 coronavirus lockdown.
However, Rainer said in a series of interviews: “I’m talking to you guys on my iPad right now, so I’m actually using the device.”
“This is what I use to do my job, in fact, I think it’s been three years now, and I’ve been using it to do my job as an MP, and it’s completely transparent.
She added, “It’s perfectly justifiable to use electronic devices to do your job, especially when you’re not in your Westminster office during the pandemic.”
“And, like I said, I’m talking to you right now on the very iPad I bought.”