Rayner hits out at Tory MPs' 'desperate, perverted smears' after Basic Instinct claims

24 April 2022, 13:13 | Updated: 20 October 2022, 11:57

'It's such a disgraceful story, I'm astonished they even printed it.'

By Emma Soteriou

Angela Rayner has accused Tory MPs of spreading "desperate, perverted smears" about her by claiming she has sought to distract the Prime Minister provocatively in the Commons.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Tory MPs accused the Deputy Labour leader of trying to put the Prime Minister "off his stride" by crossing and uncrossing her legs during PMQs, according to the Mail on Sunday.

It was compared to Sharon Stone's infamous scene in the film Basic Instinct.

In a series of tweets, Ms Rayner lashed out at the "lies" being briefed about her.

She said: "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."

She said Mr Johnson and his backers "clearly have a big problem with women in public life" and that 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," Ms Rayner added.

Labour MP Tulip Siddiq told LBC the claims are "disgraceful" and "depressing".

Speaking on LBC's Swarbrick on Sunday, Shadow Economic Secretary to the Treasury Tulip Siddiq said: "I find it really hard to even comment on this because it's such a disgraceful story.

"I'm astonished they even printed it but I'm also astonished with whoever it was in the Conservative party that said it.

"What is this? What have we gone back to where we're accusing women not of being in parliament because of their merit but using their feminine attributes.

"I find it very depressing."

Read more: Boris 'in peril' after MPs back fresh Partygate inquiry over whether he misled Parliament

Read more: PM to face vote on whether he should be investigated for misleading MPs over Partygate

'It just sounds like a bit of tittle-tattle to me.'

Meanwhile, Tory MP Richard Holden said he thought the claims were just "tittle-tattle".

After being informed about the story by Tom, Mr Holden said: "I don't think it's up to me to comment on the way Angela Rayner conducts herself but I think this should be a battle of political ideas.

"Angela Rayner - as Deputy leader of the Labour Party - has shown herself to be an adept politician at getting what she wants out of Keir Starmer.

"I'm sure she'll be a future Labour leadership candidate - it just seems like a bit of tittle-tattle to me."

Read more: Three cabinet ministers 'facing allegations of sexual misconduct'

Angela Rayner article a 'dirty little story'

It came after Tory MP Caroline Nokes earlier told LBC: "There's many aspects of the culture that we have to overcome, but first and foremost, it is disgraceful that colleagues are running to the newspapers with pathetic stories like this and they should be hanging their heads in shame this morning."

She added: "I don't think it is exclusively the Conservative party.

"I think all parties have a problem with women and we saw at the last election a number of high profile Labour women leave politics altogether... I sometimes bump into them and they tell me they feel nothing but relief for having done so."

The MP for Romsey and Southampton North went on to say: "It's a pervasive culture that we thought the independent complaints and grievances scheme in Westminster was designed to resolve - it hasn't.

"Stories like this, sadly, empower and encourage those sorts of cultures to continue to prevail. It's simply unacceptable."

Ms Rayner added: "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.

"Thank you to so many of you for your messages of solidarity and support. For calling this out for what it is.

"You are making a stand in the name of decency - against those who would further coarsen, cheapen and debase our politics to benefit their own interests. We all deserve so much better."

Mr Johnson 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."

Ms Rayner thanked the Conservative Party leader for standing up for her.

More Tom Swarbrick

See more More Tom Swarbrick

A sister has described the moment she punched a crocodile to save her sister.

'I wasn't going to leave her behind': Twin recalls punching crocodile to save sister

Susan Hall has dismissed Ed Miliband's claim that she would be an 'embarrassment' to Britain as the next London mayor.

Susan Hall dismisses as 'nonsense’ after Ed Miliband said she would be an ‘embarrassment’ as London Mayor

UK should prepare for 'something close to war', Nato's deputy tells LBC, amid warning members have 'neglected defence'

UK should prepare for 'something close to war', Nato's Deputy General tells LBC, as he warns Russia 'cannot be trusted'

Emma Webber (left) speaking to LBC

Mother of Nottingham attack victim Barnaby Webber blasts police ‘mistruths’ after force is put in special measures

Lord Harrington said there should be a cap on the number of asylum seekers the UK takes.

Former refugees minister Lord Harrington calls for a cap on the number of asylum seekers the UK takes

Mel Stride has backed the PM

Rishi Sunak has 'absolutely not' betrayed nation over Rwanda plan, insists minister after Braverman's attack on PM

Tom and caller

'Our family is there': Mother shares heartbreaking experience of being a British Jew during Israel-Hamas conflict

The ban will be brought into effect in months

'Children should be in the classroom to learn': Gillian Keegan orders 'blanket ban' of mobile phones in schools

Tributes have been paid to Elianne after she was stabbed to death in Croydon

Fellow pupil of schoolgirl stabbed to death in Croydon describes heartbreaking moment students were told of her killing

Scotland's first safe drug consumption space set to be openned

'Isn't this just decriminalising heroin?': Tom Swarbrick questions Labour MSP over first safe drug consumption room

The education secretary discusses educational reforms with Tom Swarbrick

Shadow education secretary says 'Building Schools for the Future Programme' would have prevented Raac crisis

Tom Swabrick

'Is it not completely mental?': Tom Swarbrick astonished as schools shut due to crumble-risk concrete before new term

Exam results

Equation sheets given to GCSE cohort in attempt lessen reduced grade inflation blow, schools minister says

Crime commentator on Adam Provan

Internal review of rapist ex-Met officer is the equivalent of 'marking your own homework', says crime commentator

Education Secretary discuss new Eton free schools on LBC

‘Bailed out by Eton’: Education Secretary discusses new free schools with Tom Swarbrick

Lucy Letby: We have to know what went so 'catastrophically wrong' says Tom Swarbrick

Lucy Letby: We have to know what went so 'catastrophically wrong' says Tom Swarbrick