Minister Has A Rather Unconvincing Explanation For Nadine Dorries And PM’s Identical Tweets About Rayner

A minister struggled to explain why Boris Johnson and Nadine Dorries had chosen to use exactly the same wording in their tweets of support for Angela Rayner in an awkward interview on Monday.

The prime minister and the culture secretary were both quick to tweet out against the Mail on Sunday report which claimed some Tory MPs thought Rayner was crossing and uncrossing her legs at PMQs in order to distract Johnson.

They both wrote: “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.”

Yet, technology minister Chris Philp said there was “nothing surprising” about the PM and culture secretary tweeting out the exact same message.

Sky News’ Niall Paterson said this kind of message meant “the Conservative Party’s commitment to sorting this mess out didn’t seem that strong”, asking in disbelief: “They share the same view to the word?”

Philp replied: “Nadine’s my boss, and she feels very strongly about the place of women in politics and this sort of abuse is unacceptable.

“I’m sure she will have discussed it with the prime minister and they’ve reached the same view and they’ve used the same words.

There’s nothing surprising that two colleagues in government have exactly the same view and have the same words.”

Paterson hit back: “There’s nothing surprising about two human beings sitting down at the keyboard and tapping out the exact same sentence construction?

“Honestly, you’re trying to maintain the culture secretary didn’t copy and paste this, this wasn’t something that was sent to her?

″These aren’t her own words, they’re clearly not her own words because they were said by the prime minister 15 minutes before.”

The minister simply claimed that Dorries had “expressed these sentiments countlessly times” to him, and deflected by saying: “If they were saying different things, you’d be asking me about that wouldn’t you?”

Philp himself condemned the report, and said he was “appalled”.

“I’ve never heard anyone say anything like that or even hint at it, and if I did I would be disgusted and appalled,” he continued.

“No-one should have to suffer that sort of misogynistic abuse which that sentiment amounts to.”

He indicated that if the Tory whips were to find out which MPs had briefed the Mail on Sunday about Rayner, he imagined there would be some discipline.

Paterson asked: “Does this not demand an internal investigation by the whips, by the party?”

“I think they’ll be looking at who said it, and as I said, I think everybody is appalled by the misogynistic sentiment,” Philp repeated.

He also said politics in public life needs to be “civil and respectful”, dealing with the issues constituents are concerned about, rather than abuse.

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