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Sexism row erupts in UK Parliament over ‘Basic Instinct’ article


An article aimed at a Labor MP was roundly criticized as misogynistic.

LONDON – The editor of the Mail on Sunday has refused a request to meet the Speaker of the UK House of Commons over a widely branded misogynistic and sexist article which accused the deputy leader of the Labor Party of the British opposition Angela Rayner to use ‘basic instinct’ tactics to ‘distract’ Prime Minister Boris Johnson during his weekly audience with lawmakers.

The speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, had summoned David Dillon, the newspaper’s editor, in response to the article, which was roundly criticized as ‘misogynist’, but the Mail on Sunday refused the request, citing concerns about the press free and evidence that Rayner might have been joking. on the comparison.

Rayner, one of Labor’s leading figures, told ITV News the article was ‘disgusting’, untrue and left her ‘discomforted’, saying she felt compelled to wear trousers for his first TV appearance to discuss the story on Tuesday.

“I didn’t want people at home to be like, ‘Let’s look at what her legs look like and whether her skirt is short or not,'” she said. “Because I feel like I’m being judged on what I wear, rather than what I say to you and how I present myself.”

The article, which appeared in the Mail on Sunday last week, reported that anonymous lawmakers from Johnson’s ruling Conservative party claimed Rayner had put the Prime Minister ‘out of his stride’ by crossing and uncrossing his legs during questions of the Prime Minister, the half-weekly one-hour sittings in the House of Commons when the government is held to account.

the article was accompanied by a photo of Rayner in the House of Commons and a photo of actress Sharon Stone from the 1992 film ‘Basic Instinct’, a reference to the infamous scene where she crosses and uncrosses her legs during a police interrogation. Despite widespread criticism, the original article on the newspaper’s Twitter account was not deleted.

Rayner said she was “afraid” the story would come out and asked the Mail on Sunday not to run with it.

“I was with my teenage sons… trying to prepare my kids to see things online,” she told ITV. “They don’t want to see their mother portrayed that way and I felt really bad about it.”

Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Speaker of the House of Commons, who presides over debates in the Legislative Assembly, has summoned the newspaper’s editor to a meeting on the article, which is due to take place on Wednesday. Hoyle described the article as “misogynistic and offensive”.

The Mail on Sunday and the Conservative Party have both come under fire for the ‘misogynistic article’. The Mail on Sunday publisher, Associated Newspapers, did not comment on the story.

Johnson and a number of other MPs condemned the “anonymously directed misogyny” against Rayner. Although Rayner thanked the Prime Minister for his comments, she had earlier said Johnson was “dragging the Conservative Party down the drain”.

The scandal is the latest in a string of controversies that have plagued the Prime Minister, who was recently fined for breaking his own lockdown laws.



ABC News

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