Angela Rayner hits back at claims she enjoys ‘sexist slurs’
British politician Angela Rayner has hit out at claims that she viewed “sexist slurs” made against her as a joke, amid a row between the Commons Speaker and the Mail on Sunday, whose editor rebuffed an invitation to discuss an article about the deputy Labor leader.
According to the Guardian, the editor of the Mail on Sunday, David Dillon, was asked to meet the Speaker, Lindsay Hoyle, following anger about comments made by Conservative MPs in a story about Rayner, in which they accused her of crossing and uncrossing her legs like the character played by Sharon Stone in the film “Basic Instinct” to distract Boris Johnson at prime minister’s questions.
On April 26, the Mail ran a response from Dillon saying he would not attend the meeting, as well as a story suggesting Rayner had joked about the comparison on previous occasions with Tory MPs as well as on a podcast.
On comedian Matt Forde’s The Political Party, Rayner said she was “mortified” by an internet meme comparing her actions to the scene in “Basic Instinct,” which Stone’s character crosses and uncrosses her legs in front of detectives while not wearing underwear.
Forde asked her if the suggestion was that she was “doing that to distract Boris”, to which she replied: “It doesn’t take much, does it? I don’t need to do that.”
Rayner tweeted in response: “I said to [Forde] in January that the sexist film parody about me was misogynistic and it still is now. As women, we sometimes try to brush aside the sexism we face, but that doesn’t make it OK.
“The Mail implies today that I somehow enjoy being subjected to sexist slurs. I don’t. They are mortifying and deeply hurtful.
‘She loves it really’ is a typical excuse so many women are familiar with. But it can’t be women’s responsibility to call it out every time. I don’t need anyone to explain sexism to me – I experience it every day.
The Conservative MP Caroline Nokes, the chair of the women and equalities committee, wrote to Hoyle asking him to consider revoking the Commons pass of the article’s author.
However, Hoyle, who met with Rayner on April 25, suggested it would not be right to remove his pass.
Rayner told ITV’s Lorraine on April 26 that she had told the Mail on Sunday: “This is disgusting. It’s completely untrue. Please don’t run a story like that.”
Conservative whips have claimed they will try to find out which Tory MP made the comments about Labor’s deputy leader.