Angela Rayner has condemned a “sexist” and “misogynistic” Mail on Sunday article which claimed Tory MPs have accused her of a ‘Fundamental Intuition’ ploy to distract Boris Johnson.
The prime minister additionally commented, tweeting: “As a lot as I disagree with Angela Rayner on virtually each political concern I respect her as a parliamentarian and deplore the misogyny directed at her anonymously as we speak.”
The story, which reported that Conservative MPs have accused Labour’s deputy leader of intentionally distracting Mr Johnson by crossing and uncrossing her legs, has acquired an enormous backlash following its publication.
Posting a dignified response to the article on social media on Sunday morning, Ms Rayner thanked these for criticising the piece and “making a stand within the title of decency”.
“I will not be letting their vile lies deter me. Their makes an attempt to harass and intimidate me will fail,” she added.
The unique Mail on Sunday story likens Ms Rayner’s alleged ploy to a fully-clothed equal of Sharon Stone’s notorious scene within the movie Fundamental Intuition.
In her prolonged rebuttal of the article, Labour’s deputy chief states: “Ladies in politics face sexism and misogyny day by day – and I am no totally different. This morning’s is the newest dose of gutter journalism courtesy of Mail on Sunday politics.
“I stand accused of a ‘ploy’ to ‘distract’ the helpless PM – by being a girl, having legs and sporting garments. I’m conspiring to ‘put him off his stride’. The remaining I will not repeat – however you get the image.
“Boris Johnson’s cheerleaders have resorted to spreading determined, perverted smears of their doomed makes an attempt to save lots of his pores and skin. They know precisely what they’re doing. The lies they’re telling.
“The potted biography is given – my complete training, my expertise as a care employee, my household, my class, my background. The implication is obvious.
“However it’s the PM who’s dragging the Conservative Occasion into the sewer – and the nameless Tory MPs doing his bidding are complicit. He and his cheerleaders clearly have an enormous drawback with girls in public life. They need to be ashamed of themselves.
“I will not be letting their vile lies deter me. Their makes an attempt to harass and intimidate me will fail. I have been open about how I’ve needed to wrestle to get the place I’m as we speak. I am happy with my background, I am happy with who I’m and the place I am from – but it surely’s taken time.
“I hope this expertise does not postpone a single individual like me, with a background like mine from aspiring to take part in public life. That may break my coronary heart. We’d like extra folks in politics with backgrounds like mine – and fewer as a interest to assist their mates.
“Thanks to so lots of you in your messages of solidarity and help. For calling this out for what it’s.
“You make a stand within the title of decency – in opposition to those that would additional coarsen, cheapen and debase our politics to profit their very own pursuits. All of us deserve so significantly better.”
Responding to Ms Rayner’s Twitter thread on the matter, Labour chief Sir Keir Starmer wrote: “The sexism and misogyny peddled by the Tories is a disgraceful new low from a celebration mired in scandal and chaos.”
Others who’ve condemned the piece embrace Conservative MP and chair of the Ladies and Equalities Choose Committee Caroline Nokes who retweeted a tweet referring to it as “disgustingly misogynistic”.
Ms Nokes later revealed she will likely be contacting Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle to to ask if the creator of the article, Political Editor of the Mail on Sunday Glen Owen, ought to have a parliamentary foyer move.
Westminster has an issue with unacceptable behaviour – notably relating to girls
As one minister put it as we speak, that is seemingly a narrative born out of drunken gossip from somebody puffing up their ego in a parliament bar.
So tittle tattle, sure – however solely to an extent.
There is a motive why it is touched a nerve for therefore many.
Westminster has modified rather a lot in recent times, but it surely nonetheless has a difficulty with outdated views and unacceptable behaviour – notably relating to girls.
The “pestminster” sexual harassment scandal of 2017 led to the establishing of a brand new unbiased watchdog to appears at accusations of sexual harassment and bullying.
However there are nonetheless considerations about how points are dealt with inside the workplaces of MPs.
In a single latest case, two feminine aides have been unable to boost complaints round alleged sexual misconduct as a result of the one that handled HR points for the MP in query was additionally his spouse.
Clearly there’s a distinction between a Sunday newspaper article and allegations of bodily impropriety.
However many will see reporting of this sort as forming the sexist cesspit out of which severe offending can emerge.
Conservative Occasion chairman Oliver Dowden dismissed the story when requested about it on Sky Information’ Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme.
“It is a completely ludicrous story that I do not recognise in any method in any respect,” he mentioned.
However shadow treasury minister Tulip Siddiq criticised Mr Dowden in failing to go additional in condemning the story.
“I believe he ought to have been stronger in condemning this,” she advised the identical programme.
Posting on social media afterward Sunday morning, Tradition Secretary Nadine Dorries condemned the article extra strongly.
“As a lot as I disagree with Angela Rayner on virtually each political concern I respect her as a parliamentarian and deplore the misogyny directed at her anonymously as we speak,” she mentioned.
In the meantime, fellow Labour shadow minister Jess Phillips described the story as “a brand new low”.