Whoever is behind Angela Rayner’s misogynistic remarks to newspaper ‘would be subject to sanctions’ | Political news

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Tory whips will ‘check if they know’ who made comments about Angela Rayner to a newspaper that have been roundly condemned as sexist, a minister has told Sky News.

Technology minister Chris Philp said he expected that if the source of comments to the Mail on Sunday about Labour’s deputy leader were discovered they would likely be “subject to disciplinary action”.

Boris Johnson said he laments “the misogyny directed at her anonymously” and reportedly communicated that view in a “short but heartfelt” WhatsApp message to Ms Rayner.

Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer has said the ‘misogynist’ culture in Parliament needs to change.

Politics Hub: Boris Johnson sent ‘short but heartfelt’ message to Angela Rayner

The newspaper report said Tory MPs had accused Ms Rayner of deliberately distracting Mr Johnson by crossing and uncrossing his legs.

An unnamed source reportedly said: ‘She knows she can’t match Boris’ Oxford Union debate training but she has other skills she lacks.’

On Monday, Mr Philp told Sky News: “I was appalled that this sentiment was expressed.

“It’s offensive, it’s misogynistic.

“The Prime Minister and Ministers were absolutely right to strongly condemn this sentiment and offer their support to Angela Rayner on this issue.

“I’ve never heard anyone say anything like that or even insinuate it and if I did I would be disgusted and appalled.

“No one should have to endure the kind of misogynistic abuse that this sentiment amounts to.

“If we ever find out who said that, then I imagine they would be subject to disciplinary action.”

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Angela Rayner said ‘prime minister’s cheerleaders resorted to spreading desperate and perverted smears’

Asked if the whips would investigate who tipped off the newspaper, Mr Philp said: “I think they will investigate if they know who said that.

“I have no idea who said it.

“No one has ever said anything like that to me or even hinted at it.

“I think everyone is appalled by the misogynistic sentiment.

“We all need to keep the tone of speech in public life civil and respectful and focus on the issues that our constituents expect us to address, not engage in this type of abuse – which is essentially – .”

Ms Rayner responded to the article over the weekend, saying: “Women in politics face sexism and misogyny every day – and I’m no different.

“Boris Johnson’s cheerleaders have resorted to spreading desperate and evil smears in their doomed attempts to save his ass.”

On Monday, Ms Rayner’s Labor colleague Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor, said with “great sadness” she was “not surprised” at the story.

“This kind of sexism and misogyny is frankly the kind of rubbish that female MPs but also female staff members of the House of Commons have to put up with every day.

“When I hear a minister say ‘I’ve never heard this kind of thing before’ – talk to your female colleagues, talk to the women who work in your office, because a lot of them would have been through this sort of thing .”

Commenting on the story, Sir Keir Starmer told ITV’s This Morning: “It’s rank sexism, rank misogyny. She was really disgusted that all her political trappings had been cast aside for this ridiculous and offensive story.

“She shouldn’t have to put up with it, but not every woman in politics should have to put up with it. Almost every woman in politics has had an element of it in one form or another.

“We have to change the culture. The culture in Parliament, it’s sexist, it’s misogynistic. We have to change it.”

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