Speaker summons Mail on Sunday editor to meeting after sexist article about Angela Rayner

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The Speaker of the House of Commons has summoned the editor of a national newspaper for a meeting after it published a sexist article about a Labour MP wearing tights.

The Mail on Sunday was widely criticised this weekend for running an article about Angela Rayner supposedly trying to “distract” Boris Johnson by crossing and uncrossing her legs in the chamber.

The newspaper reported claims by anonymous Tory MPs that the deputy Labour leader’s gait was supposedly reminiscent of a scene from the 1992 film Basic Instinct – under the headline “Stone the crows!”.

Ms Rayner said that “attempts to harass and intimidate me will fail” while the prime minister Boris Johnson sought to distance himself from his MPs and said he deplored “the misogyny directed at her anonymously today”.

Now speaker Lindsay Hoyle has told MPs that David Dillon, the editor of the Mail on Sunday, has been asked to attend a meeting in parliament.

“I said to the House last week in response to a point of order about a different article that I took the issue of media freedom very seriously,” Sir Lindsay told MPs at the start of business on Monday.

“It is one of the building-blocks of our democracy. However, I share the views expressed by a wide range of members, including I believe the Prime Minister, that yesterday’s article was reporting unsubstantiated claims and misogynistic and offensive.

“I expressed my sympathy to the right honourable member of Ashton-under-Lyne for the subject to this type of comment in being demeaning, offensive to women in parliament, and can only deter women who might be considering standing for election to the detriment of us all.”

The Speaker said he would meet with Mr Dillon the editor of the Mail on Sunday “to discuss the issue affecting our parliamentary community” and also hold a separate meeting with Ms Rayner.

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