A MAJOR Press freedom row erupted last night after a national newspaper editor turned down a summons to meet with the Commons Speaker over the Angela Rayner flashing row.
Sir Lindsay Hoyle tried to haul the Mail on Sunday to parliament to explain why they reported that a Tory MP had claimed Labour deputy leader Ms Rayner used a “Basic Instinct” tactic to distract Boris Johnson at PMQs.
But last night editor David Dillon firmly rejected the summons, saying journalists should “not take instruction from officials of the House of Commons, however august they may be”.
Responding to Sir Lindsay, he wrote: “The Mail on Sunday deplores sexism and misogyny in all its forms.
“However journalists must be free to report what they are told by MPs about conversations which take place in the House of Commons, however unpalatable some may find them.”
Yesterday, Sir Lindsay said he wanted reporters to consider the “feelings” of MPs and their families before writing stories about them.
Read more on the row
Former Labour minister Kate Hoey criticised the Speaker, saying his intervention risked creating a “worrying” precedent.
The claims from an anonymous Tory MP had sparked outrage across the political spectrum.
The PM labelled the article “the most appalling load of sexist, misogynist tripe”.
But concerns were also raised by suggestions the Speaker might strip the journalist who reported the remarks about Ms Rayner of his Parliamentary pass.
Last night Mr Hoyle insisted he backed journalists to report what they were told.
He said he was a “staunch believer and protector of press freedom”.
Read More on HOAR
He did not want to see Commons passes ripped off journalists for writing things that MPs didn’t like.
But he added: “I would just ask that we are all a little kinder.”