The Prime Minister, who’s fighting for his political survival, quoted Shakespeare’s King Lear – a play about a monarch who is driven to madness and rage while giving up power
Boris Johnson is determined to “unleash the terrors of the earth” on the Tory MPs responsible for making sexist slurs about Angela Rayner.
The Prime Minister was quick to blast the article published in the Mail on Sunday, in which a Tory claimed Ms Rayner crossed and uncrossed her legs on the Labour front bench during PMQs in a bid to distract the PM.
Today, Mr Johnson once again dismissed the comments, describing them as “intolerable”.
But he admitted he is unclear on what sanctions the MP could face if they were ever identified.
The press regulator Ipso has already received 5,500 complaints over the article, as of 10am this morning.
The Independent Press Standards Organisation said it was exploring possible breaches of clauses one (accuracy), three (harassment) and 12 (discrimination) of the Editors’ Code of Practice.
Speaking to reporters in Bury, the Mr Johnson said: “If we ever find who is responsible for it, I don’t know what we will do, but they will be the terrors of the earth.
“It’s totally intolerable, that kind of thing.”
Earlier today Keir Starmer gushed over his colleague Ms Rayner, describing her as a “fantastic and formidable woman” and a “brilliant politician” in her own right who has so much to offer the British people.
He also slammed the culture in the House of Commons as “sexist and misogynistic”.
Mr Starmer told This Morning that almost every woman in politics has experienced some kind of sexism and misogyny and said no one should have to put up with it, including Ms Rayner.
“I actually think it’s a culture thing, and therefore going after one or two individuals isn’t enough. We’ve got to change the culture in Parliament,” the Labour leader said.
The story triggered a wave of condemnation over sexism and snobbery from across the political divide, including from Boris Johnson.
The Prime Minister is understood to have texted Ms Rayner directly to express his condemnation of the report.
A minister said the Tory MPs behind the slur could be disciplined.
Technology minister Chris Philp said he was “appalled” by a story in the Mail on Sunday where unnamed Tories suggested Labour’s deputy leader crossed and uncrossed her legs during Prime Minister’s Questions to distract Boris Johnson.
On Sunday, Mr Johnson tweeted: “As much as I disagree with Angela Rayner on almost every political issue I respect her as a parliamentarian and deplore the misogyny directed at her anonymously today.”