Labour’s Deputy Leader Angela Rayner has faced some harsh criticism after evading a question on BBC Breakfast. Her name is trending on X as people reshare the clip that shows her response to the repeated enquiry: ‘Do you support the triple lock on pensions?’.
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The shadow deputy prime minister refused to give a straight answer, giving rise to accusations that Labour won’t keep the state pensions triple lock if they take power at the next general election.
The BBC interview with Angela Rayner
Rayner was questioned about the triple lock, under which the state pension increases every April in line with either inflation, the average increase in wages, or 2.5% - whichever of these three measures is highest.
It was designed to ensure the state pension reflected the increase in the cost of living. During the interview, Rayner was asked if she supported the 8.5% state pension increase expected in April 2024 under the triple lock:
The Tories promised that they would keep the triple lock. They've got to keep to that, they're in government.
When it was pointed out to her that Labour also pledged to keep the triple lock in 2019, she appears to hesitate before giving a small laugh and explaining that the country is in ‘a very different place’ now:
What Labour has said is we'll look at that in the run-up to a general election but we will not make unfunded spending commitments because Liz Truss did that and she crashed the economy.
Who is Angela Rayner?
Angela Rayner is the Labour MP for Ashton-under-Lyne, Droylsden and Failsworth
According to her website, in 2015 Angela Rayner became the first woman MP in the 180 years of her Ashton-under-Lyne constituency. She explains her motivation for getting into politics:
From the beginning of my working life I’ve always stood up for working people.
In 2020, she was elected as Deputy Leader of the Labour Party. Rayner is also Shadow First Secretary of State, Shadow Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Shadow Secretary of State for the Future of Work. Indeed, during the BBC interview she shows her loyalty to Keir Starmer's party as she claims that Labour will look after everyone:
When we're in government, when we run up to the general election, when we've seen the finances, we will make sure that people are better off under Labour.
However, X users are unconvinced and taking to social media to express their disappointment in her refusal to commit to keeping the triple lock.
angelarayner.co.uk: Angela Rayner MP
Express: Angela Rayner refuses to commit to Labour keeping pensions triple lock in BBC grilling
BBC: State pension and triple lock: What is it worth and when do you get it?