Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner has denied the party is “playing dirty” with its attacks on Rishi Sunak and said it is right to highlight the Government’s record on crime – which she branded a “disaster”.
The frontbencher defended the campaign, which has included a claim the Prime Minister does not think child sex abusers should be jailed, as “factual”.
She said the advertisements seek to show the public how the Conservatives have “failed absolutely, dismally” in letting “serious criminals off the hook”.
“They’ve been in power for 13 years and it is absolutely right for us to highlight that.”
Asked by broadcasters if she thinks Labour is “playing quite dirty”, Ms Rayner said: “No, we’re being very factual with it. We’ve made it very clear that the Government have failed, not just failed slightly but failed absolutely, dismally, and are letting serious criminals off the hook because their record on crime is a disaster.
“Rishi Sunak is the Prime Minister. He’s been a senior politician in the Conservative benches all the way into the Cabinet, all the way through the last couple of years and nothing has been done to resolve these despicable crime figures that we’re seeing.
“I make no apology for allowing the public to see that and to put that responsibility at his door.”
Ms Rayner’s comments echo those made on Wednesday by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who defied critics by arguing the campaign is “highlighting the failures” of the Tory Government.
The party’s latest ad focused on the non-dom tax status previously held by Mr Sunak’s wife Akshata Murty.
The biggest outcry was sparked by the first in the campaign, which was a Twitter post featuring a photo of the Prime Minister alongside the words: “Do you think adults convicted of sexually assaulting children should go to prison? Rishi Sunak doesn’t.”
Mr Sunak called for “less talk, more action” from politicians as he hit back at the campaign.
The Prime Minister on Wednesday said he is “focused on delivering for the British people” when asked about the claim on a visit to Northern Ireland.