Angela Rayner receives private letter from Boris Johnson after outrage at smear

GMB: Richard criticises '1989' Angela Rayner allegation

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There was outrage last night after allegations were made by an anonymous Tory MP that the Deputy Labour leader had deliberately attempted to distract the Prime Minister in the House of Commons. They accused Ms Rayner of deliberately crossing and uncrossing her legs on the Opposition front bench.

A newspaper report of the comments yesterday compared Ms Rayner’s behaviour to a scene from the 1992 erotic thriller Basic Instinct.

Mr Johnson yesterday criticised the claims on social media saying he “deplored” the way the Ashton-under-Lyne MP had been treated.

He wrote: “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 Prime Minister then followed up his public statement by privately writing to the Labour Deputy.

He expressed sympathy for her treatment and said that the anonymous comments were “not in his name”, according to The Telegraph.

Ms Rayner said “desperate, perverted smears” had been aimed at her because she was a woman as she commented on the remarks made against her.

“Women in politics face sexism and misogyny every day – and I’m no different,” she said.

“I stand accused of a ‘ploy’ to ‘distract’ the helpless PM – by being a woman, having legs and wearing clothes.

“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.”

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She added: “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.”

There has been anger across the Commons at the attack, with a number of Conservative MPs speaking out against the comments.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: “If an MP or MPs really said this then it’s utterly shameful.

“No woman in politics should have to put up with this.”

Conservative party chairman Oliver Dowden decried the claims as “totally ludicrous”, while former leader of the House of Commons Andrea Leadsom said the remarks were “totally unacceptable”.

Scottish First Minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon offered her “solidarity from across the political divide” for the attack on Ms Rayner, adding: “It’s a reminder of the deep misogyny women face every day.”

Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats’ Munira Wilson described the report as “disgraceful”.

Sir Keir Starmer said the attack on his no2 was a “new low” as he criticised the claims.

He said: “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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