Angela Rayner has written to Boris Johnson demanding answers over reports that a ‘Gender of the Year’ award was handed out at a lockdown-breaking Christmas party at Number 10.
Deputy Head of Labor called on the Prime Minister to confirm whether or not the award was presented at a rally in Downing Street in December 2020, as originally reported in The Sunday Times.
In a letter, Ms Rayner says that if such a presentation has taken place, the government must release information about who gave the award, who was nominated for it and why, and who received the award.
“It has already been established that there were a number of events in Downing Street which were illegal under the lockdown rules in force at the time, but this raises further questions about the conduct of political figures from high level during these events which deserve an urgent response from you,” the letter reads.
No election pact between Labor and Liberal Democrats, promises Starmer – Reuters
He continues: “You have publicly asserted this week that there is ‘no place’ for sexism in politics, and yet there are now serious and credible allegations in the Sunday Times that sexist behavior is not not only took place in your own office, but was celebrated and rewarded.
“You are ultimately responsible for the culture and activities that take place in Downing Street under your administration.
“If true, these allegations not only contradict your alleged opposition to sexism, but set a terrible example and need further action.
“Could you please confirm what action will be taken now? Given the seriousness of the new Sunday Times revelations today and the serious issues and questions that arise, I look forward to your quick response.”
Rayner asks PM to confirm if ‘Gender of the Year’ award is given
Ms Rayner’s letter comes amid accusations of misogyny and sexual misconduct at Westminster.
In recent weeks, several damning allegations plagued the Commonswith 56 MPs allegedly accused of sexual misconduct.
At least three Cabinet ministers are believed to be among parliamentarians who have been referred to the Independent Complaints and Grievance System over the allegations.
On Saturday, an MP said he would resign after admit to watching pornography in the House of Commons.
Neil Parish said he had watched adult material in parliament twice, saying the first time was accidental after watching tractors online, but the second was “a moment of madness”.
Before that, Mail on Sunday editor David Dillon declined an invitation to meet Speaker of the House of Commons Sir Lindsay Hoyle to discuss anonymous claims in the paper that Ms Rayner crossed paths and uncrossed her legs during Prime Minister’s Questions to distract Boris Johnson.
Angela Rayner says she had to groom her teenage sons for a ‘misogynistic’ article
The article was widely condemned as “sexist” and “misogynist”, and Ms Rayner herself described it as “disgusting”.
Calls for culture change in parliament
Sir Lindsay has called for a ‘radical’ reform of working practices in parliament following a series of accusations of bullying and sexual misconduct against MPs.
Meanwhile, Mr Keir Starmer called for a change in behavior and culture to tackle foolishness in Westminster.
But, speaking to Sky News’ Ridge program on Sunday, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng dismissed the idea that there is a culture of misogyny in Westminster.
He said: “I think the problem we have is that people work in a really intense environment, there are long hours, and I think generally most people know their limits, they know how to act with respect.
“But there are instances where people don’t act honestly to the highest standards.”
Partygate investigation underway
The Metropolitan Police investigation into lockdown-breaking parties held in Downing Street and Whitehall is still ongoing.
Everything you need to know about the Partygate survey
Last month the Prime Minister, Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Mr Johnson’s wife, Carrie Johnson, all received fine notices for attending an event marking the Prime Minister’s 56th birthday.
The prime minister, who has faced persistent calls to resign over partygate and apologized to MPs in a performance full of contrition, He is believed to have been involved in more than the 12 events being investigated by Scotland Yard.
The Met Police said so will not release any further partygate updates before the municipal elections in May.
You Can Read Also