Boris Johnson condemns ‘misogynistic’ claims about Angela Rayner

Boris Johnson has shown support for Angela Rayner following claims the Labor deputy leader has sought to distract the Prime Minister provocatively in the Commons. Mr Johnson said he ‘deplores’ the ‘misogyny’ directed toward Ms Rayner by anonymous Conservative MPs in a widely-criticised newspaper article.

The Mail On Sunday’s politics editor Glen Owen reports that Tory MPs claim Ms Rayner crosses and uncrosses her legs in Prime Minister’s Questions ‘to put Mr Johnson off his stride’. The Greater Manchester MP is then likened to Sharon Stone and her infamous scene in the 1992 film Basic Instinct.

An anonymous MP is quoted, who suggests Ms Rayner ‘can’t compete’ with Boris Johnson’s Oxford Union debate training, adding: “but she has other skills which he lacks.” Despite their differences, Mr Johnson says, he has called out the comments publicly online.

READ MORE: Driver parks on the motorway to try and avoid Manchester Airport charges

“As much as I disagree with @AngelaRayner on almost every political issue I respect her as a parliamentarian and deplore the misogyny directed at her anonymously today,” the Prime Minister said on Twitter. Ms Rayner replied to the tweet, saying: “thank you.”

However the Mirror’s politics editor Pippa Crerar has pointed out that the exact same statement has also been tweeted from culture secretary Nadine Dorrie’s Twitter account, making some social media users question the authenticity of the statement.

Pippa wrote alongside two screengrabs: “They could’ve at least changed a couple of words.” One social media user responded: “A nice copy and paste job was it?”

Ms Rayner often sits next to Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer and opposite the Prime Minister during the weekly Commons clashes. She has also stood in for Sir Keir at PMQs when he has been forced to self-isolate due to coronavirus.

Responding to the ‘desperate, perverted smears’ with a nine-tweet thread, the 42-year-old addressed the everyday sexism she experiences as a woman in politics.

Angela Rayner in the Commons

The Ashton-Under-Lyne MP wrote: “Women in politics face sexism and misogyny every day – and I’m no different. I stand accused of a “ploy” to “distract” the helpless PM – by being a woman, having legs and wearing clothes.I am conspiring to “put him off his stride”.

“The rest I won’t repeat – but you get the picture. Boris Johnson’s cheerleaders have resorted to spreading desperate, perverted smears in their doomed attempts to save his skin. They know exactly what they are doing. The lies they are telling.

“The potted biography is given – my comprehensive education, my experience as a care worker, my family, my class, my background. The implication is clear.

“But it is the PM who is dragging the Conservative Party into the sewer – and the anonymous Tory MPs doing his bidding are complicit. He and his cheerleaders clearly have a big problem with women in public life. They should be ashamed of themselves.

“I won’t be letting their vile lies deter me. Their attempts to harass and intimidate me will fail. I’ve been open about how I’ve had to struggle to get where I am today. I’m proud of my background , I’m proud of who I am and where I’m from – but it’s taken time.

“I hope this experience doesn’t put off a single person like me, with a background like mine from aspiring to participate in public life. That would break my heart. We need more people in politics with backgrounds like mine – and fewer as a hobby to help their mates.

“Thank you to so many of you for your messages of solidarity and support. For calling this out for what it is. You are making a stand in the name of decency – against those who would further coarsen, cheapen and debase our politics to benefit their own interests. We all deserve so much better.”

Labor leader Sir Keir said the sexism displayed by those briefing the Sunday paper was a “disgraceful new low from a party mired in scandal and chaos”. When asked on Sophy Ridge about the coverage, Tory chairman Oliver Dowden said he did not recognize the claims attributed to his party’s MPs.

Related Posts

George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *