Boris Johnson news – live: Angela Rayner rejects Daily Mail’s ‘suggestion she enjoys sexist slurs’

Dominic Raab condemns Labour’s plan for windfall tax on energy companies-.mp4

Angela Rayner has accused the Daily Mail of suggesting she “enjoys being subjected to sexist slurs”, during the row over comments made by Tory MPs about her using so-called Basic Instinct tactics in parliament.

The deputy Labour leader’s comments came after the newspaper sought to explain why it refused a Commons meeting to discuss an article claiming she crossed and uncrossed her legs in an attempt to distract Boris Johnson during PMQs.

In a statement in today’s Mail explaining his decision to reject the invitation, Mail on Sunday editor David Dillon said new evidence had come to light suggesting Ms Rayner herself was the original source of the story, because she had been joking about the notion of using these tactics in a conversation with Tory MPs on the Commons terrace.

Responding to what she said was an implication by Mr Dillon that she “somehow enjoyed” being on the receiving end of sexist remarks, Ms Rayner said: “I don’t. They are mortifying and deeply hurtful.” She added that she “hoped” for an update on the situation at today’s PMQs.

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Departing Tory councillor tells people to vote for Lib Dems

Our politics reporter Adam Forrest writes:

A departing Conservative councillor in Dominic Raab’s constituency has urged people to vote for the Lib Dems – attacking Tory “lies” which are “detrimental to democracy”.

Councillor Alan Kopitko, 64, resigned from Elmbridge Borough Council in February – claiming he had been told he was too old for the party.

Kopitko has now shared a letter to local voters, which says: “You only have to look at nationally with the lies of Boris Johnson and his followers have portrayed denying parties that they engaged in during lockdown.”

Sam Hancock27 April 2022 10:56

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Rayner previously told podcast ‘Basic Instinct’ meme was mortifying

More on this story now, as it emerges Angela Rayner previously joked about a “mortifying” internet meme which compared her to Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct in an unearthed podcast episode.

The Daily Mail has pointed to a January podcast with comedian Matt Forde in which Ms Rayner discussed the fact some people had made the comparison with the Basic Instinct scene.

However, Ms Rayner made clear that she deplored the “misogyny” of press scrutiny over the way she dressed. “Every time I do PMQs, everybody has an opinion on what I wear.” She added: “Did you see the meme about Sharon Stone like I was doing it at PMQs? I was mortified. They did this whole meme about me doing, you know, the whole … I was like, when did I do that?”

Tweeting about the appearance on Wednesday, Ms Rayner said she had told the comedian that “the sexist film parody about me was misogynistic and it still is now”. Adam Forrest reports:

Sam Hancock27 April 2022 10:39

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Tories and Daily Mail continue to face criticism over Rayner misogyny row

Following this morning’s developments in the Angela Rayner misogyny row, journalists and MPs have come out in defence of the deputy Labour leader.

The Guardian’s Jessica Elgot gives some insight into the culture at Westminster, particularly on the terrace, where the Daily Mail alleges Ms Rayner laughed along with jokes made about her and is therefore somehow complict in the article it published.

Labour MP Steeve Reed said the saga proved the “extent that sexism” still exists in the workplace “and other arenas”.

Meanwhile, the i’s Paul Waugh has this:

Sam Hancock27 April 2022 10:12

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Rayner rejects Daily Mail’s view she ‘enjoys being subjected to sexist slurs’

An update on the Angela Rayner story now. The deputy Labour leader has criticised the Daily Mail for suggesting “I somehow enjoy being subjected to sexist slurs”, during the row over comments made by Tory MPs about her using Basic Instinct tactics to distract Boris Johnson during PMQs.

It comes as the newspaper sought to defend itself after refusing to attend a meeting at the House of Commons, called by speaker Lindsay Hoyle, about the article.

In his statement in today’s Mail explaining his decision to refuse the invitation, Mail on Sunday editor David Dillon said new evidence had come to light suggesting Ms Rayner herself was the original source of the story, because she had been joking about the notion of using these tactics – crossing and uncrossing her legs – at PMQs in a conversation with Tory MPs on the Commons terrace. He writes:

“Following investigations by the Conservative party, three other MPs who were part of the group on the House of Commons terrace, one of them a woman, have come forward to corroborate the account of Angela Rayner’s remarks given to us by the MP who was the source of last Sunday’s story.”

The original story implied that the Labour MP had discussed the comparison with Tories, quoting an unnamed Tory as saying “[Ms Rayner] admitted as much when enjoying drinks with us on the [Commons] terrace”, but it was not explicit about this.

Signalling she expects the PM to give an update on the situation in today’s PMQs, she said in a thread of tweets this morning:

Sam Hancock27 April 2022 09:58

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Watch: PM denies calling Tory MP Tobias Ellwood a ‘c**t’

Boris Johnson denies calling Tory MP Tobias Ellwood a ‘c**t’

Sam Hancock27 April 2022 09:46

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Speaker: Meeting with Mail on Sunday was not to ‘threaten press freedom’

Commons speaker Lindsay Hoyle insisted last night that his decision to invite the Mail on Sunday editor to a meeting to discuss the Angela Rayner article was not a threat to press freedom.

Instead, he said, it was simply to ask reporters to be a “little kinder”.

In a statement last night, after David Dillon, the editor, said he would not be attending, Sir Lindsay said:

“I am a staunch believer and protector of press freedom, which is why when an MP asked me to remove the pass of a sketch writer last week for something he had written, I said ‘no.’

“I firmly believe in the duty of reporters to cover parliament, but I would also make a plea — nothing more — for the feelings of all MPs and their families to be considered, and the impact on their safety, when articles are written. I would just ask that we are all a little kinder.”

Commons speaker Lindsay Hoyle

(PA)

Sam Hancock27 April 2022 09:40

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Raab: ‘Perfectly legitimate’ for Patel to attend Bond premiere as home sec

Another snippet now from Dominic Raab’s media round this morning.

The justice secretary said it was “perfectly legitimate” for Priti Patel to attend a James Bond premiere in her role as home secretary, pointing to both “fictional” and “factual” links between the security services and the Home Office.

His defence comes after Cabinet Office minister Michael Ellis suggested Ms Patel accepted an invite to the latest Bond film premiere in her capacity as home secretary because it had links to her department. The character of James Bond works for MI6 in the movie franchise.

Asked if it was part of the home secretary’s role to attend the Bond screening, Mr Raab told LBC: “I think it’s perfectly legitimate – I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.” He added:

“I don’t know the circumstances around it, but given how hard the home secretary works, frankly I don’t begrudge her going to see a movie one night – and particularly given, of course, the links with the Home Office in both the fictional but also the factual service that is MI5.”

Minister claims Patel accepted Bond tickets as ‘nature of film connected to executive function’

Sam Hancock27 April 2022 09:23

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PM failing to set out ‘mission success’ in Ukraine as war drags on – senior Tory

A senior Conservative has hit out at Boris Johnson for failing to explain what is “mission success” in Ukraine, as the war drags on into its third month.

Tobias Ellwood, a former defence minister, spoke out as the foreign secretary Liz Truss delivers a major speech warning the world “will never feel safe again” if Vladimir Putin is allowed to win.

Ms Truss will call for higher defence spending across the West and reverse policy by arguing for Ukraine to be sent fighter planes, as well as tanks and heavy weapons. But Mr Ellwood, the chair of the defence committee, said Nato’s policy must be to force Russia out of the eastern Donbas region, where experts fear a long bloody stalemate now looms.

Our deputy political editor Rob Merrick has more:

Sam Hancock27 April 2022 08:55

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Watch: Raab condemns Labour’s plan for windfall tax on energy companies

Dominic Raab condemns Labour’s plan for windfall tax on energy companies

Sam Hancock27 April 2022 08:46

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Sunak says no new money for cost-of-living ideas – and proposals won’t be discussed for weeks

Following my last post, here’s our political editor Andrew Woodcock with more on Tuesday’s meeting, where ministers were urged to come up with ways to solve the cost of living crisis without spending taxpayers’ money.

Cabinet ministers are split over suggestions for easing the cost of living crisis at no cost to the government, which include demands to scrap green levies and a plan to lower MOT test intervals from one to two years.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak made clear to ministers at a brainstorming session that there was no money available to fund schemes to help hard-pressed households.

With Conservatives taking a battering in the run-up to the local elections over the impact of soaring inflation, Boris Johnson called on every minister to produce ideas to help put money back in voters’ purses and wallets. He was said to be particularly keen to cut the cost of childcare, where prices have risen by a third in the past decade from around £102 in 2012 to £137 now for an average part-time weekly nursery place for a child under two.

Sam Hancock27 April 2022 08:44

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