Angela Rayner calls on Boris Johnson to provide answers to ‘vile sexism’ in Tory party – UK politics live | Politics

Rayner says she wants Johnson to say at PMQs what he will do about ‘vile sexism’ in Tory party

Angela Rayner has been tweeting this morning about the revelations in today’s Mail (see 9.27am) about her previous remarks about a meme comparing her at PMQs to Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct. She says the Mail has ignored her objections to this presentation.

She also says she wants Boris Johnson to explain at PMQs what he will be doing about “vile sexism” in his party.

I said to @mattforde in January that the sexist film parody about me was misogynistic and it still is now.

As women we sometimes try to brush aside the sexism we face, but that doesn’t make it ok.

— Angela Rayner 🌹 (@AngelaRayner) April 27, 2022

The Mail implies today that I somehow enjoy being subjected to sexist slurs.

I don’t.

They are mortifying and deeply hurtful.

— Angela Rayner 🌹 (@AngelaRayner) April 27, 2022

‘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.

— Angela Rayner 🌹 (@AngelaRayner) April 27, 2022

Boris Johnson gave assurances he would unleash ‘the terrors of the earth’ on the Tory MPs spreading this vile sexism.

I hope to hear what he’ll be doing about it today.

— Angela Rayner 🌹 (@AngelaRayner) April 27, 2022

Raab says government ‘neutral’ on whether or not to privatise Passport Office

In interviews this morning Dominic Raab, the justice secretary and deputy PM, said that the government had not ruled out privatisting the Passport Office as a means of ensuring it delivers a better service. Asked if that was an option, he said:

I think the point the prime minister made, and he made it again last night, is that we’re neutral on the question of who does the provision; what we’re not neutral on – and what we want to see – is the service to the taxpayer and to the public being the very best value for money.

Therefore, if we need to consider changing the controller of a particular service, that’s something that we’re willing to do. But I don’t think a decision has been taken either way on it.

Yesterday it emerged that Johnson told cabinet he was prepared to “privatise the arse” off the Passport Office if necessary. When asked about this in an interview last night with Tom Newton Dunn on Talk TV, Johnson said:

I don’t care whether an institution is in the private or the public sector, I just want it to deliver value. I want it to deliver value and a good service. I’m not, on your august show, going to rule anything out. What I want is for it to deliver value for money and help keep people’s cost down.

Raab under pressure over lack of action on cost of living crisis

As my colleague Rowena Mason reports, in his morning interview round Dominic Raab, the justice secretary and deputy PM, came under pressure when forced to explain why yesterday’s cabinet meeting on the cost of living crisis did not generate any firm policy initiatives.

This is from the i’s Paul Waugh on Angela Rayner.

.@AngelaRayner is accused today of being “a tiny bit disingenuous in her outrage” over what Tory MPs said about her.
But why can’t she both ridicule the original false accusation levelled at her AND be outraged Tory MPs would weaponise that accusation by claiming it was true?🧵

— Paul Waugh (@paulwaugh) April 27, 2022

And this is from my colleague Jessica Elgot.

It wouldn’t be the first time a woman has chuckled along with or even made a joke when a group of men is saying deeply inappropriate things about her. It happens all the time. Especially on the terrace.

— Jessica Elgot (@jessicaelgot) April 27, 2022

Rayner says she wants Johnson to say at PMQs what he will do about ‘vile sexism’ in Tory party

Angela Rayner has been tweeting this morning about the revelations in today’s Mail (see 9.27am) about her previous remarks about a meme comparing her at PMQs to Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct. She says the Mail has ignored her objections to this presentation.

She also says she wants Boris Johnson to explain at PMQs what he will be doing about “vile sexism” in his party.

I said to @mattforde in January that the sexist film parody about me was misogynistic and it still is now.

As women we sometimes try to brush aside the sexism we face, but that doesn’t make it ok.

— Angela Rayner 🌹 (@AngelaRayner) April 27, 2022

The Mail implies today that I somehow enjoy being subjected to sexist slurs.

I don’t.

They are mortifying and deeply hurtful.

— Angela Rayner 🌹 (@AngelaRayner) April 27, 2022

‘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.

— Angela Rayner 🌹 (@AngelaRayner) April 27, 2022

Boris Johnson gave assurances he would unleash ‘the terrors of the earth’ on the Tory MPs spreading this vile sexism.

I hope to hear what he’ll be doing about it today.

— Angela Rayner 🌹 (@AngelaRayner) April 27, 2022

Peers concede to Commons on police and health bills, but fight on on nationality and borders bill

MPs and peers are engaged in parliamentary “ping pong” this week on a clutch of bills that are very close to getting royal assent, but that cannot clear parliament until the two chambers resolve any outstanding differences. The process is called “ping pong” because at this point bills shuttle back and forth between the two houses – sometimes on the same day – until one side backs down. Last night peers were sitting until almost midnight dealing with outstanding bills.

Normally the Lords eventually gives in to the elected house, and last night peers gave up their struggle to ditch a provision in the police, crime, sentencing and courts bill giving the police new powers to limit protests on the grounds of noise. This is from PA Media.

Powers allowing a clampdown on noisy protests are set to become law after peers ended their stand-off at Westminster.

The House of Lords voted by 180 to 113, majority 67, against a Labour move to again strip from legislation the controversial curbs relating to marches.

The upper chamber also rejected an opposition bid to remove the noise trigger for demonstrations by 169 to 113, majority 56.

It comes after the Commons supported restoring the restrictions to the police, crime, sentencing and courts bill for a third time.

The legislation contains a wide-ranging raft of measures aimed at overhauling the criminal justice system.

Peers also backed down on a remaining sticking point in the health and social care bill. PA reports:

A planned £86,000 cap on care costs is set to be introduced after peers backed down over their demand for a government rethink, amid concerns it is unfair to poorer people.

The House of Lords voted by 196 to 160, majority 36, against a renewed Labour move to amend the proposed reform aimed at sending it back to the Commons again for further consideration.

A fresh bid in the upper chamber to improve workforce planning in health and social care in England also failed.

Peers rejected by 204 votes to 169, majority 35, a move to force ministers to publish a report every three years on staffing needs, aimed at tackling shortages.

Both issues had been key areas of contention during the passage of the health and care bill through the Lords.

But the peers are still fighting over key aspects of the nationality and borders bill. PA says:

Defiant peers have dug in their heels by inflicting further defeats against the government’s controversial asylum and immigration reforms.

The House of Lords is maintaining its stand-off despite the Tory-dominated Commons rejecting previous changes made by the unelected chamber to the flagship nationality and borders bill.

Peers again backed steps aimed at preventing asylum seekers being treated differently based on how they reached the UK, and renewed their demand that applicants be allowed to work if no decision had been taken on their claim after six months.

The Lords also supported measures to ensure provisions on asylum in the bill comply with the UK’s international commitments to refugees.

The latest government setbacks mean a continuation of the legislative tussle between the two houses over the bill, known as parliamentary ping pong, as the end of the parliamentary session looms.

However, the Conservative frontbench did see off attempts to secure further significant changes to the bill, including a fresh bid to strip out a broad provision making it a criminal offence to knowingly arrive in the UK without permission and a move to impose strict conditions on offshoring asylum.

Speaker says he wanted to meet editor not to threaten press freedom, but to just ask ‘that we are all a little kinder’

Sir Lindsay Hoyle, the Commons Speaker, has insisted 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. In a statement last night, after David Dillon, the editor, said he would not be attending, Hoyle 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.

Raab refuses to criticise Mail on Sunday editor for refusing to meet Commons Speaker over Angela Rayner story

Good morning. In his classic book about journalism, My Trade, Andrew Marr says of journalism that “outside organised crime, it is the most powerful and enjoyable of the anti-professions”. One characteristic of anti-professions is that they don’t like being bossed around by officialdom, and we have seen a good example of that this morning in the declaration from the Mail on Sunday editor, David Dillon, that he will not attend a meeting with the Commons Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle, to discuss its article about Angela Rayner widely denounced as sexist.

My colleague Tom Ambrose has written our story about the Mail on Sunday’s snub to the Speaker. The Daily Mail has reported it as its splash.

It was not entirely clear what Hoyle was planning to say to Dillon at the meeting, which had originally been scheduled for today. At least one MP has called for Glen Owen, the Mail on Sunday political editor, to have his parliamentary pass removed, but Hoyle gave no indication that he planned to impose this sanction (which would have triggered widespread protests from other journalists). However, Hoyle’s statement on Monday implied that what he had in mind was not a cosy chat about journalistic standards, but something more akin to what is sometimes called in Whitehall an interview without coffee.

In his statement in today’s Mail explaining his decision to refuse Hoyle’s invitation, Dillon presents this as a matter of press freedom. He says:

Britain rightly prides itself on its free Press. That freedom will not last if journalists have to take instruction from officials of the House of Commons, however august they may be, on what they can report and not report. I am afraid I and Glen Owen must now decline your invitation.

Dillon also offers two other reasons for staying away. He says Hoyle’s comment to MPs on Monday implied he had already taken a decision on the merits of the article, without having heard the paper’s side of the story. And he says new evidence has come to light to show that Rayner herself was the original source of the story, because she had been joking about the notion of using Basic Instinct tactics at PMQs in a conversation with Tory MPs on the Commons terrace. Dillon says:

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 Rayner herself had discussed the comparison with Tories (it quoted an unnamed Tory saying “[Rayner] admitted as much when enjoying drinks with us on the [Commons] terrace”) but it was not explicit about this. Today’s Mail also says that, when she was recording an interview in January with the comedian Matt Forde for his Political Party podcast, Rayner discussed a meme suggesting she used Basic Instinct tactics at PMQs. Rayner said in the interview she was “mortified” by the comparison – but she could clearly see the funny side too.

(Quite what Rayner may have said to MPs on the Commons terrace remains unclear, but it seems probable that the story is a good example of how journalism goes wrong when a comment made in jest ends up being reported seriously.)

While it was easy for MPs from all parties to condemn the sexism of the original article, today’s framing of the debate means they are now being invited to take sides, and choose between the Mail on Sunday or the Speaker, press freedom or responsible, respectful journalism. This issue is very likely to come up at PMQs.

Dominic Raab, the justice secretary, was doing the morning interview round this morning, and he tried to avoid taking sides. But he would not criticise the Mail on Sunday for boycotting the meeting with the Speaker.

Speaking about the original article, he said it was “terrible”. He said he had faced Rayner in the Commons in his capacity as deputy PM and she was “a formidable opponent”. Speaking about the story published on Sunday, he said: “I can’t stand this kind of thing.”

Asked about the paper’s refusal to meet the Speaker, Raab said:

Whether it’s the Speaker or the newspaper editors, we all believe in two things: one, the power and the importance of free speech, but, secondly, the importance of not allowing that to be abused and used to spread sexism in any shape or form …

I’m not going to second guess the decisions of editors …

I think it was a legitimate thing for Lindsay Hoyle do to invite to him [Dillon] and of course it’s the prerogative of any editor to decide how they treat that invitation.

Here is the agenda for the day.

9.30am: Lord Blunkett, the former Labour education secretary, and Lord Willetts, the former Conservative universities minister, give evidence to the Commons education committee about post-16 qualifications.

9.30am: Grant Shapps, the transport secretary, gives evidence to the Commons transport committee.

9.45am: The supreme court rules on a claim that pilot voter ID schemes used in the May 2019 local elections were unlawful.

10am: Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the international trade secretary, gives evidence to the Commons international trade committee.

10.15am: Lord Keen of Elie, who resigned as advocate general of Scotland over the internal market bill in 2020, gives evidence to the Lords constitution committee about the role of government law officers.

12pm: Boris Johnson faces Keir Starmer at PMQs.

12.30pm: Lord Frost, the former Brexit minister, gives a speech on the Northern Ireland protocol.

After 12.45pm: MPs debate Lords amendments to the elections bill.

2.15pm: Sir Tom Scholar, permanent secretary at the Treasury, and other officials give evidence to the Commons Treasury committee on combating fraud.

Afternoon: Peers consider Commons amendments to the judicial review and courts bill, to the nationality and borders bill and to the elections bill.

I try to monitor the comments below the line (BTL) but it is impossible to read them all. If you have a direct question, do include “Andrew” in it somewhere and I’m more likely to find it. I do try to answer questions, and if they are of general interest, I will post the question and reply above the line (ATL), although I can’t promise to do this for everyone.

If you want to attract my attention quickly, it is probably better to use Twitter. I’m on @AndrewSparrow.

Alternatively, you can email me at andrew.sparrow@theguardian.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.