‘Utter scum’: MPs take to Twitter to slam headline on Theresa May’s legs
Among the first to criticise the front page of the Daily Mail, which compared the British prime minister’s legs to those of Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon, as sexist and offensive were the Labour MPs Harriet Harman and Yvette Cooper. Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, echoed their condemnation, saying such attitudes should be “consigned to history”.world Updated: Mar 29, 2017 18:44 IST
A Daily Mail front page that declared “Never mind Brexit, who won Legs-it!” next to a photograph of Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon and British prime minister Theresa May has prompted widespread outrage.
Inside the paper there was more ogling at the female leaders, with a headline reading: “Finest weapons at their command? Those pins!” A column by Sarah Vine referred to Sturgeon’s legs as “altogether more flirty, tantalisingly crossed … a direct attempt at seduction.”
The front page, which appeared on Twitter on Monday night, met with instant criticism from politicians and the public.
Among the first to criticise the front page as sexist and offensive were the Labour MPs Harriet Harman and Yvette Cooper.
Moronic! And we are in 2017! pic.twitter.com/LTGEZdtNo3— Harriet Harman (@HarrietHarman) March 27, 2017
It's 2017. Two women's decisions will determine if United Kingdom continues to exist. And front page news is their lower limbs. Obviously pic.twitter.com/AMp0YvtISa— Yvette Cooper (@YvetteCooperMP) March 27, 2017
Tony Blair’s former spin doctor, Alastair Campbell, labelled the paper “utter scum” and urged anyone who spotted a copy of the Mail to rip it up . The former Labour leader Ed Miliband tweeted: “The 1950s called and asked for their headline back.”
Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, echoed their condemnation, saying such attitudes should be “consigned to history”.
It's 2017. This sexism must be consigned to history. Shame on the Daily Mail. pic.twitter.com/V3RpFSgfnO— Jeremy Corbyn MP (@jeremycorbyn) March 27, 2017
The front page, which referenced difficult talks between the leaders in Glasgow over Brexit, looked slightly different in Scotland, where the Scottish edition of the Daily Mail used the same photograph but with a headline that read: “Oh so frosty! Secrets of Nicola and PM’s talk-in.”
Journalists, commentators and members of the public in the UK and beyond were left shaking their heads.
We're living in the most political unstable era of my lifetime, and the Daily Mail are writing sexist articles about our leader's legs. pic.twitter.com/54uAuAE9Sp— Angry Salmond (@AngrySalmond) March 27, 2017
Breaking news: two women have four legs between them. Forget their brains - utterly immaterial. United by being unwitting pin-ups pic.twitter.com/RY64nVMLyF— Emma Barnett (@Emmabarnett) March 27, 2017
This is what happens when you let that drunk, pervy uncle at a wedding edit a newspaper. pic.twitter.com/FQcqjjQMNJ— Jane Bradley (@jane__bradley) March 27, 2017
While others took matters into their own hands.
Later editions of the paper appeared to attempt to water down the editorial line, describing it on the front as: “Sarah Vine’s light-hearted verdict on the big showdown.”