Speaker demands meeting over Angela Rayner article, but Westminster has its own problems

The Speaker has demanded a meeting with the editor of The Mail on Sunday over the article about Angela Rayner, but has far bigger issues he can actually help fix.

Sir Lindsay Hoyle will meet with the editor and the chairman of the Press Gallery on Monday to address a rank, sexist and vile article that has no place in our political debate.

Any MP who made the accusation the Labour deputy leader was trying to distract Boris Johnson in the Commons by crossing and uncrossing her legs should be ashamed of themselves.

They are the source of the story, the key problem here, and while the newspaper should not have run it, it is telling that an MP felt comfortable making those claims to a journalist.

Westminster has been hit with yet another sexism scandal.


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Westminster is a place where sexist language and attitudes have long been ignored, so any discussion on addressing this is welcome.

But what can be done? A public telling off is one thing, but that’s not going to change a culture that failed to learn from the backlash after the First Minister and Theresa May in 2017.

What’s more, Sir Lindsay has little power to improve attitudes in the media, but does have the power to fix things in Westminster.

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Commons Speaker demands meeting with Mail on Sunday editor over 'misogynistic an...


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Parliament is still far from a safe workplace for women, especially junior staff.

I know women who have been sent unsolicited lewd photographs by men who behave like allies on social media, or been harassed or groped by men with Wikipedia pages.

The article was disgusting and speaks to a culture that continues to fail women and those who work in Parliament.

There are 70 complaints to the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS) about 56 MPs, but when allegations come out, the parties close ranks.


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MPs accused before have been suspended by the party only when the allegations become public. Women who speak out have been blanked by others in their party.

The entire culture across Westminster and the UK media is rotten, and we can only hope The Mail on Sunday article starts a conversation about women’s safety and treatment.

There’s always a new scandal and things haven’t got better.

It’s good we’re talking about this, but the sexist story is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Westminster’s problems with women.


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