Two Conservative MPs have given the Telegraph their account of what happened when the deputy Labour leader was alleged to have made the remarks on the House of Commons terrace.
The eyewitnesses said they heard Ms Rayner joking about the suggestion that she was crossing and uncrossing her legs on the front bench.
One Conservative MP said that Ms Rayner “was laughing” about the insinuation that she “could put Boris off by giving him a flash”. A second MP also said Ms Rayner joked about the topic.
The conversation was said to have taken place around two months ago in an area of Parliament's terrace that overlooks the River Thames behind Strangers’ Bar where MPs drink and socialise.
There were claims that Ms Rayner was smoking during the conversation, which was said to be light-hearted and genial. Neither MP said there was an explicit reference to the 1992 erotic thriller Basic Instinct.
‘Mortifying and deeply hurtful’
A Labour party spokesman declined to comment on the conversation but pointed to Ms Angela Rayner’s comments on Twitter.
She said on Wednesday: “As women, we sometimes try to brush aside the sexism we face, but that doesn’t make it ok.”
Ms Rayner said that any implication that she “somehow enjoy[s] being subjected to sexist slurs” is untrue, adding: “They are mortifying and deeply hurtful. ‘She loves it really’ is a typical excuse so many women are familiar with.
“But it can’t be women’s responsibility to call it out every time. I don’t need anyone to explain sexism to me - I experience it every day.”
In January, Ms Rayner volunteered the fact that her appearance at Prime Minister's Questions had drawn comparisons with the Sharon Stone character in the 1992 thriller.
She told the comedian Matt Forde’s Political Party podcast: “Every time I do a PMQs somebody has an opinion on what I wear. Did you see the meme about Sharon Stone like I was doing it at PMQs? I was mortified.”
The accounts of what was said on the Commons terrace earlier this year shed light on the event that led to a Mail on Sunday story which prompted a fierce backlash this week.
The article contained remarks from an anonymous Tory MP about Ms Rayner that the Commons Speaker said were “offensive and demeaning”.
It was based on comments from a Conservative parliamentarian, who said that Ms Rayner had tried to put Boris Johnson “off his stride” by crossing and uncrossing her legs on the Labour front bench during Prime Minister’s Questions.
The news story, which likened the claims to a scene from Basic Instinct, also contained remarks that Ms Rayner “knows she can’t compete with Boris’ Oxford Union debating training, but she has other skills which he lacks”.
Message Thread | This response ↓
« Back to index | View thread »