Angela Rayner calls Boris Johnson's Partygate behaviour 'reckless and dangerous'
Sky News

Angela Rayner has hit back at the “vile lies” and “perverted smears” made against her, with Keir Starmer and Boris Johnson also condemning recent reports.

It comes after the Mail on Sunday claimed that Tory MPs have accused the deputy leader of the Labour Party of distracting the prime minister by “crossing and uncrossing her legs” during PMQs.

The reports have been slammed online by many commentators, who have accused them of being deeply misogynistic and totally unacceptable.

A number of Tory MPs have also spoken out about the reports, including Andrea Leadsome, Oliver Dowden and Chris Clarkson.

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In response to the reports, Rayner said: “Women in politics face sexism and misogyny every day - and I’m no different. This morning’s is the latest dose of gutter journalism.

“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.”

Rayner went on to say: “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.”

The Deputy Labour leader has responded to the reportsLeon Neal/Getty Images

She added in an extended Twitter post: “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.”

Johnson also tweeted in reaction to the reports, writing: "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."

Keir Starmer also backed Rayner by writing: "Well said @AngelaRayner. The sexism and misogyny peddled by the Tories is a disgraceful new low from a party mired in scandal and chaos."

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