Jess Phillips says she was 'woken up' by Bill Bailey
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Labour’s Deputy Leader was the subject of a newspaper report that has ben widely criticised for its content and tone by MPs from across the political divide. An article in the Mail on Sunday claimed Ms Rayner tried to put Prime Minister Boris Johnson “off his stride” by repeatedly crossing and uncrossing her legs at PMQs. Tory MPs interviewed for the piece compared the 42-year-old’s alleged antics to that of Sharon Stone’s character in the hit Hollywood film Basic Instinct.
The report provoked a furious response from male and female politicians from all parties.
Ms Phillips added her own forthright opinions on the subject in a strongly worded tweet.
The Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley said: “Jesus this Angela Rayner at PMQs story is a genuine new low.
“A) women sometimes move we are not mannequins.
“B) if women moving puts off PM maybe don’t mention that while also painting him as a great war leader…our enemies will simply employ some women to shimmy.
“C) WT actual F”
Ms Phillips strong language prompted some criticism from her social media followers.
David Gardner wrote: “I had to ask someone what your third point meant.
“If that is where HM’s Opposition is now, then we really are in dire difficulties.
“Labour used to have people such as Tony Benn, Barbara Castle and Harold Wilson on its front Bench.
“Now we have this level of discourse. Oh dear.”
In the Mail on Sunday article, a Tory MP claimed Ms Rayner deployed her Basic Instinct tactics to make up for a lack of debating skills.
He said: “She knows she can’t compete with Boris’s Oxford Union debating training, but she has other skills which he lacks.”
Ms Phillips, however, noted that the Prime Minister’s ability to debate left a lot to be desired.
She quipped: “Also I’ve met pot plants that could compete with Boris Johnsons Oxford debating skills.(sic)
“He is a genuinely dreadful commons performer.”
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Labour’s Deputy Leader Ms Rayner has had to stand in for her boss, Sir Keir Starmer, on a number of occasions at PMQs due to his Covid enforced absences.
Mr Johnson was quick to condemn the article and attack its misogynistic tone.
He said: “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.”
Sir Keir added: “The sexism and misogyny peddled by the Tories is a disgraceful new low from a party mired in scandal and chaos.”
Ms Rayner was elected to parliament in 2015 and is the MP for Ashton-under-Lyne.
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