FORMER Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has hit out at the “extreme misogyny” faced by women in politics.

The comments came as a Conservative minister promised his party would be "looking at whether they know" who made “perverted” remarks about Angela Rayner to a Sunday newspaper.

An unnamed Tory MP was quoted in the Mail on Sunday saying that Labour’s deputy leader knew she couldn’t beat Boris Johnson’s debating skills, and instead crossed and uncrossed her legs on the Labour front bench in an attempt to distract the Prime Minister

The paper likened the claims to a scene from the 1992 erotic thriller Basic Instinct and said she was trying to put the Prime Minister “off his stride”.

On Sunday, Ms Rayner called the story “desperate” and “perverted”.

There was cross-party support for Labour's deputy leader. Mr Johnson himself has written to Angela Rayner to insist the claims were “not in his name”.

Speaking to the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland, Ms Dugdale said: The idea that Angela Rayner is defeating Boris Johnson’s Oxford-based debating skills with the power of her legs alone is just a nonsense, and it’s laughable, but it’s an example of the extreme misogyny that women face in politics every single day.

“You’re just hearing about this particular example because Angela Rayner is senior enough to have power and agency to call it out and demand that there are consequences for what has happened.

“But for a lot of women, they just have to quietly put up with comments like this on a day-by-day basis.

“It’s really, really disappointing and kind of depressing that despite the increased levels of women’s representation we’ve got in politics across the United Kingdom, the culture hasn’t changed anywhere near to the extent that it should have.”

Tory Technology minister Chris Philp has said that if the Tory MP responsible for misogynistic comments about Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner is identified they will face “serious consequences”.

He said he expected efforts would be made to find out who spoke to The Mail on Sunday political editor Glen Owen but suggested the chances of success were limited.

“I think that if anyone is identified having views like those that were expressed, which are just outrageous and misogynistic, then I would expect serious consequences to follow,” he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

“I expect efforts will be made to identify who is responsible for those views. But journalists fiercely guard their sources and I doubt Glen Owen will be volunteering that information.

"I think there is ongoing, active work to make sure anyone holding offensive views, including the misogyny we saw demonstrated over the weekend, is called out and action is taken.”

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves said the vetting process for MPs needed to be improved. 

Asked if she thinks there should be an internal investigation, Ms Reeves told Sky News: “Yeah – I mean, I think that too many people think this sort of thing is just acceptable so it’s got to be called out and right from the top.

“But there are just too many stories and not just of sexism, but also things like… we’ve got a Conservative MP in Wakefield who’s been convicted of sexual offences against a child. He’s still a Member of Parliament. He hasn’t handed in his resignation yet.

“You know, we’ve got to sort out Parliament so that the vetting system of who can be an MP is improved, the processes within parties improved, but also to make Parliament more welcoming for people, including women.”

Later pressed on whether there should be disciplinary action, Ms Reeves added: “The problem is we don’t know the names because they don’t have the guts to say this in public.

“They anonymously brief their friends in the press, but they shouldn’t hide behind that anonymity. If that’s what they think, have the guts to say it.”

Ms Reeves later added: “I hope that some good can come out of this awful article in The Mail on Sunday, and that is that people see what it is like in Parliament and people call out this misogyny and sexism for what it is and that we get some change because Angela and no other MP should have to put up with this sort of rubbish.

“But at the moment, it is the sort of thing that happens day in, day out in Parliament and I say that with great sadness and as somebody who is proud to be an MP and proud to be a woman in Parliament.”

There was criticism yesterday when the Prime Minister and his culture secretary Nadine Dorries both tweeted the exact same condemnation of the article. 

“As much as I disagree with (Ms) Rayner on almost every political issue I respect her as a parliamentarian and deplore the misogyny directed at her anonymously today,” they both wrote and posted.

Mr Philp insisted that it was not surprising that the two had used exactly the same words. He denied it had been a “copy and paste” job.

“They share the same view. They have reached the same view and they have used the same words. There is nothing surprising that two colleagues in Government have the same view and use the same words,” he said.