Tory inquiry found Angela Rayner as source of 'Basic Instinct' story

REVEALED: Conservative Party inquiry finds the source of the Angela Rayner ‘Basic Instinct’ story that triggered a storm at Westminster was… Angela Rayner

  • MoS report last week triggered a storm at Westminster after Labour Deputy Leader claimed that the PM’s ‘cheerleaders’ were spreading ‘perverted smears’
  • Boris Johnson ordered his whips to find out which Tory MP was quoted in story
  • Revelations that Rayner had propagated the story led supporters to try to reframe the row as an indictment of the ‘sexist’ and ‘classist’ culture in the media
  • A Conservative Party inquiry into the ‘Basic Instinct’ furore over Angela Rayner has concluded that the Labour Deputy Leader was herself the source of the story.

    The report in last week’s Mail on Sunday triggered a storm at Westminster, after Ms Rayner claimed that ‘Boris Johnson’s cheerleaders have resorted to spreading desperate, perverted smears in their doomed attempts to save his skin’.

    The uproar forced the Prime Minister to release a statement condemning the ‘misogyny’ which had been ‘anonymously directed’ at Ms Rayner, and to order his whips to try to identify the Tory MP quoted in the article.

    Mr Johnson also vowed that he would unleash ‘the terrors of the Earth’ on the person responsible.

    But within 24 hours of the investigation starting, the whips had spoken to four Tory MPs who testified that Ms Rayner had herself raised the issue with them during an evening on the Commons terrace.

    According to one of the MPs, she told them that during PMQs she liked ‘to do my Sharon Stone trick. I cross and uncross my legs and give him a flash of my ginger g******’.

    A Conservative Party inquiry into the ‘Basic Instinct’ furore over Angela Rayner has concluded that the Labour Deputy Leader was herself the source of the story

    A Conservative Party inquiry into the ‘Basic Instinct’ furore over Angela Rayner has concluded that the Labour Deputy Leader was herself the source of the story

    A second MP also recalled the phrase. A third MP told the whips they hadn’t heard the entire exchange, but had overheard the vulgar colloquialism, while a fourth said: ‘Angela was telling us how she distracts Boris.’

    The investigation concluded that the exchanges had been lighthearted and good-natured.

    When this newspaper put the story to the Labour Party last weekend, a spokeswoman had insisted that the claims were ‘categorically untrue’.

    The resulting row led to Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle condemning the article as ‘unsubstantiated’, ‘misogynistic’ and ‘offensive’, and inviting The Mail on Sunday’s Editor, David Dillon, to a meeting at the Commons. The request was declined.

    After the row broke out last week, the Daily Mail revealed the contents of a podcast recorded in January in which Ms Rayner volunteered the fact that her appearance at PMQs that month had drawn comparisons with Miss Stone, and that it had sparked an internet meme of her crossing and uncrossing her legs.

    The interview came 18 days after the Daily Mail’s Amanda Platell had likened Ms Rayner to Miss Stone in her column – without receiving a complaint.

    Mr Johnson also vowed that he would unleash ‘the terrors of the Earth’ on the person responsible. But within 24 hours of the investigation starting, the whips had spoken to four Tory MPs who testified that Ms Rayner (pictured during Prime Minister's Questions) had herself raised the issue with them during an evening on the Commons terrace

    Mr Johnson also vowed that he would unleash ‘the terrors of the Earth’ on the person responsible. But within 24 hours of the investigation starting, the whips had spoken to four Tory MPs who testified that Ms Rayner (pictured during Prime Minister’s Questions) had herself raised the issue with them during an evening on the Commons terrace

    The revelations that Ms Rayner had herself propagated the story she was supposedly furious about led her supporters to try to reframe the row as an indictment of the ‘sexist’ and ‘classist’ culture at Westminster and in the media.

    A senior Tory source said: ‘We soon realised that Rayner’s story wasn’t quite all it seemed.’

    A leader article in today’s MoS calls on ‘Britain’s political and media classes’ to ‘relearn old rules such as the one which advises waiting for the facts before passing judgment, and that trial comes before verdict, and verdict before sentence’.

    It concludes: ‘If they do not, and if they continue to allow themselves to be stampeded by social media mobs, then freedom of speech, freedom of the Press and democracy itself are in danger.’