Rebecca Long-Bailey today revealed she gets vile abuse from trolls over her ‘expressive eyebrows’ – as she branded the treatment of women in politics ‘unacceptable’.
The Labour leadership hopeful said it was ‘routine’ for women in public life to get criticism of their appearance, after frontbench colleague Tracy Brabin faced a backlash for wearing an off-the-shoulder dress in the Commons.
Ms Long-Bailey complained that while she received messages about her clothes and looks, by contrast male politicians did not get the ‘same level of scrutiny’.
The comments came as bids for Ms Brabin’s dress topped £2,000 in an online charity auction.
The Batley and Spen MP hit back at ‘everyday sexism’ after she was branded a ‘hungover tart’ on Twitter, and announced she was putting the £35 ASOS dress on eBay.
Rebecca Long-Bailey revealed during an interview on BBC Breakfast today that she gets vile abuse from trolls over her ‘expressive eyebrows’
Ms Long-Bailey spoke out against the treatment of women politicians as bids for Tracy Brabin’s off-the-shoulder dress topped £2,000 in a charity auction
Ms Long-Bailey complained that while she received messages about her clothes and looks, by contrast male politicians did not get the ‘same level of scrutiny’
Interviewed on BBC Breakfast today, Ms Long-Bailey was asked about the backlash against Ms Brabin.
‘Particularly after this morning there will be comments about what I’ve wore (sic),’ Ms Long-Bailey said.
‘Some people tend to talk about my eyebrows because I’ve got quite expressive eyebrows. Women tend to get that scrutiny far more than men…
‘It is routine for women in politics and in public life unfortunately.
Ms Long-Bailey insisted she simply ignored the abusive messages and was ‘not bothered about it’.
But she added: ‘It’s interesting because when you look at male colleagues they don’t get the same level of scrutiny.
‘Nobody really cares what colour their suit is or what their hair is like that particular morning.’
The eBay listing for Ms Brabin’s dress shows that bids have been coming in quickly since it went online yesterday.
The listing says: ‘All money raised will go to Girlguiding UK to support their work helping girls build confidence and self-esteem, in the hope that they grow up to be leaders. Please bid generously!’
Meanwhile, Ms Long-Bailey has called for workers to be given the legal right to switch off their mobile phones outside office hours.
She said it would be part of a drive to ‘end the 24/7 working culture that affects our mental health’.
Ms Long-Bailey highlighted that France had a ‘right to disconnect’, so companies with more than 50 workers must have systems in place so workers can be out of contact.
Labour MP for Batley and Spen Tracy Brabin, 58, sparked outrage this week after her black off-the-shoulder dress slipped down her arm at the despatch box
Ms Brabin, 58, posted a sharply-worded response hitting back at the people who called her names for the dress
She said: ‘France has introduced laws that allows workers to switch off so they cannot be contacted outside working hours…
‘These are simple things that I think can be added to our portfolio of policies.’
Ms Long-Bailey said: ‘Aspirational socialism is about us all rising together, and that means coming together to collectively solve issues that are damaging our mental health and stopping us getting quality time with our families or in our communities.
‘We can all do better with aspirational socialism, through pushing for an end to the 24/7 work culture, and with trade unions empowered to negotiate this, we can work hard, be paid for the work we do and keep that precious time with our friends and family, uninterrupted by emails or demands.’
The Salford and Eccles MP is one of the frontrunners to succeed Jeremy Corbyn after Labour’s worst general election result since 1935.
Ms Long-Bailey is seen as the favoured candidate of the hard-Left in the contest, with her main rivals shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer and backbencher Lisa Nandy.
All the candidates apart from Ms Thornberry have so far won sufficient support from groups affiliated to Labour to make it onto the postal ballot of members and supporters. The winner will be declared on April 4.