Commons Speaker demands meeting with Mail on Sunday editor over 'misogynistic and offensive' Angela Rayner claims

The Commons Speaker has demanded a meeting with the Mail on Sunday editor over the “misogynistic and offensive” claims made about Angela Rayner in an article.

Speaker of the House of Commons Sir Lindsay Hoyle made the statement on Monday.
Speaker of the House of Commons Sir Lindsay Hoyle made the statement on Monday.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle will also speak with the Chair of the Press Gallery over the story, which claimed that Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner tried to district Boris Johnson in the Commons by crossing and uncrossing her legs.

Making a statement to MPs, the Speaker announced the meeting would take place on Monday evening.

He said: “I said to the House last week in response to a point of order about a different article that I took the issue of media freedom very seriously – it is one of the building blocks of our democracy.

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“However, I share the views expressed by a wide range of members, including I believe the Prime Minister, that yesterday’s article was reporting unsubstantiated claims – and misogynistic and offensive.”

He added: “I express my sympathy to (Angela Rayner) for being the subject of this type of comment in being demeaning, offensive to women in Parliament and can only deter women who might be considering standing for election to the detriment of us all.

“That is why I have arranged a meeting with the chair of the press lobby, the editor of the Mail on Sunday to discuss the issue affecting our parliamentary community. I’m also arranging separately – and I believe we’ve now got a time – where I’ll be meeting with (Ms Rayner) this evening.”

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Sir Keir Starmer labels Angela Rayner smears 'rank sexism, rank misogyny'

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Earlier Mr Johnson described the comments as “misogynistic tripe”.

Asked whether there was a cultural problem in Parliament, he told reporters in Bury: “It’s hard to say on the basis of that particular story.

“But I have to say I thought it was the most appalling load of sexist, misogynist tripe.

“I immediately got in touch with Angela and we had a very friendly exchange.”

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In a King Lear reference, he threatened to unleash “the terrors of the earth” on the source behind the comments if they were ever identified.

“If we ever find who is responsible for it, I don’t know what we will do, but they will be the terrors of the earth.

“It’s totally intolerable, that kind of thing.”

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