The furore over newspaper claims that Labour’s Angela Rayner had tried to distract Boris Johnson in the Commons by crossing and uncrossing her legs has thrown a spotlight on the treatment of women in politics.

An unnamed Conservative MP, quoted in the Mail on Sunday made a number of claims about Labour’s Deputy Angela, with appalling references to her working class background and family situation. This attack on a leading female politician is mirrored by the disgusting online trolling that many women in the public eye experience on-line.

People may well have disagreements with Angela Raynor’s politics or opinions. I am sure many readers will agree that her class, background and life experience mean she is more than qualified to represent the people of Ashton-under-Lyne who elected her to parliament.

I was pleased to see that Angela has received so much support from across the spectrum in the face of sexism and misogyny. It was interesting to see how several women have come forward to highlight their experiences of behaviour from some male colleagues at Westminster.

In the early 20th century women founded the suffragette movement to secure the right to vote. In the 21st century it seems that women are still having to fight to be taken seriously.

We need to change the culture of politics. The row about Angela Raynor’s legs shows that more than ever that we need more women in politics.

Joan Pritchard-Jones