Angela Rayner and Boris Johnson condemn 'misogyny' of claims Tory MPs reportedly made
The Prime Minister has joined MPs in condemning the "misogyny" directed at Angela Rayner.
An article quoted anonymous Conservative MPs claiming the deputy Labour leader had been trying to distract Boris Johnson in the Commons by "crossing and uncrossing her legs".
Ms Rayner branded the Mail on Sunday article "gutter journalism" amid widespread condemnation of the piece on social media.
The Ashton-under-Lyne MP wrote on Twitter: "Women in politics face sexism and misogyny every day - and I’m no different."
The PM has now aired his condemnation too, writing on Twitter: "As much as I disagree with Angela Rayner on almost every political issue I respect her as a parliamentarian and deplore the misogyny directed at her anonymously today."
The Labour MP retweeted Mr Johnson's post writing: "Thank you".
In her response to the piece, Ms Rayner thanked people for their "solidarity and support" and added: "I won't be letting their vile lies deter me. Their attempts to harass and intimidate me will fail".
MPs from across the political divide have criticised the story.
Conservative MP and chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee Caroline Nokes described it as "disgustingly misogynistic".
Fellow Conservative Chris Clarkson tweeted: "It's fair to say Angela Rayner and I have political and personal differences, but this demeans our politics generally and Angela personally.
"I sincerely hope this is a misreporting or exaggeration and not something someone actually thought acceptable to say."
Culture secretary Nadine Dorries tweeted the same response as the PM.
Health secretary Sajid Javid wrote: "If an MP or MPs really said this then it’s utterly shameful. No woman in politics should have to put up with this."
Leader of the Welsh Conservatives Andrew RT Davies wrote: "This is a disgrace. The anonymous misogynist fuelling this story is contributing to the atmosphere in which many women don’t feel that public life is for them. Unacceptable."
Labour MP Jess Phillips described it as a "new low".
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wrote: "Solidarity from across the political divide to Angela Rayner on this. It’s a reminder of the deep misogyny women face every day."
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said: "I fully stand with Angela Rayner on this disgusting story. I have had the pleasure of working with Angela in Parliament, she is an accomplished colleague who is a credit to public life for who she is. She should be proud of her achievements and for the leadership she shows."
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