Angela Rayner has repaid a £139 expenses claim after seemingly purchasing another pair of Apple AirPods.
The Deputy Labour leader charged the sum to the taxpayer for ‘earphone for office’ in December.
However, the money was repaid to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) this week after questions were raised about the purchase. Tories said Ms Rayner acted because she was ‘caught red-handed’.
Although the expenses entry does not specify details of the kit, £139 is the retail price of second generation AirPods.
Ms Rayner’s office did not deny the earphones were Apple tech.
A spokesman for the MP said: ‘These costs have been covered privately and Ipsa has been reimbursed accordingly.’
Sources stressed that the repayment was entirely voluntary and no rules had been broken.
Angela Rayner has previously posted photos of herself using Apple AirPods
Although the expenses entry does not specify details of the kit, £139 is the retail price of second generation AirPods
A Tory source said Ms Rayner had ‘only apologised because she’s been caught red handed’.
‘Sir Keir’s frontbench are taking the pip. Labour should face the music, take out their AirPods, and listen to the British people for once,’ they added.
Earlier this year Ms Rayner defended expensing £249 ‘personalised’ AirPods and an iPad that cost around £1,600 during the Covid lockdown in 2020.
During an interview, Ms Rayner said: ‘I’m actually using the equipment right now as I’m speaking to you on the iPad.
‘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.’
She added: ‘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.’