House of Commons speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle has summoned the Mail on Sunday’s editor over a “misogynistic and offensive” article about Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner.
Hoyle said he would discuss the “demeaning” article with the Mail, with rumours abound that the Commons speaker could take the unprecedented step of banning journalists from the newspaper from parliament.
There has already been widespread concern across the Westminster press gallery about this prospect, with journalists complaining that it would be a blow to freedom of speech.
The article saw unnamed senior Tory MPs claim that Rayner had been trying to distract Boris Johnson in parliament by crossing and uncrossing her legs in a Basic Instinct-type ploy.
The claim was vociferously denied by the deputy Labour leader who labelled the article as “desperate” and “perverted”.
There has been near universal condemnation of the article, including Johnson who said he would unleash the “terrors of the earth” on the MP who made the claims.
Hoyle said the article was “offensive to women in Parliament” and would “only deter women who might be considering standing for election, to the detriment of us all”.
“That is why I am arranging a meeting with the chair of the press lobby and the editor of The Mail On Sunday to discuss the issue affecting our parliamentary community,” he said.