A regional daily landed an exclusive today when Theresa May played down criticism of a national newspaper’s “sexist” headline about her.
The Prime Minister told the Express & Star, Wolverhampton, that the Daily Mail’s photograph this morning showing her and Nicola Sturgeon accompanied by the headline ‘Never mind Brexit, who won Legs-it!’ was “just a bit of fun”.
This morning it was reported that Mrs May’s official spokesman, former Mail journalist James Slack, had refused to comment on the front page, but speaking to the Express & Star’s political editor Peter Madeley the PM joked that she was “wearing trousers today”.
The image and headline, which appeared on the Mail’s front page this morning, received widespread criticism and was labelled as sexist and offensive by Labour MPs Harriet Harman and Yvette Cooper, while Tony Blair’s former spin doctor Alastair Campbell described the newspaper as “utter scum”.
But Mrs May told Peter today during a visit to the West Midlands: “You will notice that I am wearing trousers today. As a woman in politics throughout my whole career I have found that very often, what I wear – particularly my shoes – has been an issue that has been looked at rather closely by people.
“Obviously what we do as politicians is what makes a difference to people’s lives.
“I think that most people concentrate on what we do as politicians. But if people want to have a bit of fun about how we dress, then so be it.”
Peter told HTFP: ” I didn’t expect the Prime Minister to answer that particular question.
“It was the last one I asked and I was taking a bit of a punt, particularly as she had refused to address the subject when asked by the nationals.”
During her visit to the region, Mrs May also held a sit-down discussion with Birmingham Mail editor Marc Reeves and political editor Jonathan Walker, on subjects including Article 50 and making the most of Brexit in the West Midlands.