Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

MP Alison McGovern shares letter complaining about her ‘prominent cleavage’ during TV appearance

Alison McGovern Channel 4 news.jpg

In June of this year Alison McGovern, Labour's Shadow City Minister, went on the Channel 4 news to discuss budget proposals set out by George Osbourne.

We'd rather not discuss the fact that she wore a plain black top, blazer and a knee-length grey skirt, because it’s not at all important given the subject matter of the news segment.

The reason we have to mention it however, is because she’s now come under fire for supposedly choosing an inappropriate outfit which strategically flaunted her breasts.

In a letter written by the as yet unidentified J. G.Hunter – we don’t know if the writer is male or female – Alison’s choice of outfit is deemed inappropriate, and her ‘prominent cleavage’ accused of distracting male observers from what she was saying.

The letter, sent to Alison via Westminster and dated 10 June 2015, reads:

“I listened to you on the 7-0 p.m, Channel 4 news tonight. However, I couldn’t help wondering why you felt it necessary to demonstrate your cleavage so obviously on T-V. I can only imagine that it was deliberate in order to attract attention to yourself as the Labour spokesperson?

“As a Labour member might I say that your prominent cleavage distracted your male observers from hearing what you were saying. Indeed as an experienced women [sic] politician, I found this strategy – hardly accidental – for someone of your age and experience difficult to comprehend. This is not a complaint however, merely an observation, I’m sure your PR people will have advised you on your attire.”

The MP decided to share the letter on Twitter, during a discussion with others about the open sexism many female politicians are currently facing.

The debate began with a conversation about journalist and biographer Charles Moore’s sexist piece for the Spectator, where he compares the appearances – and as such their suitability for leadership - of Labour MPs Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall.

In a bid to prove that Moore’s article was just the tip of the iceberg, Alison tweeted a photograph of the letter, adding that she was ‘trying to laugh rather than cry at the same old same old’.

Other politicians have since come to her support, including Labour councillor Jessica Asato who shared her own disturbing letter, plus former Labour Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, who writes on Twitter:

“Been there, done that, taken the crap – sure you’re treat that with the contempt it deserves and keep up the fab work.”

More still have taken to Twitter to share their views and exasperation following the Charles Moore article, with Liz Kendall herself, Nicola Sturgeon and Anne McGuire being among the most vocal.

 

Related

rexfeatures_4862767e.jpg

Labour's Liz Kendall slams 'unbelievable' question about her weight

Meryl Streep and Romola Garai on sexism.jpg

Hollywood stars launch joint attack on sexism in the film industry

GettyImages-471510982.jpg

Just why has the reaction to Mhairi Black MP been so passionate?

Mairhi-Black.jpg

Everything you need to know about Mhairi Black

imgID18481663.jpg-pwrt2.jpg

Why everyone's talking about Naz Shah

work-life.jpg

Work Life: Helen Grant MP Minister For Victims

More

The best possible gifts for when flowers aren’t going to cut it

17 unusual and thoughtful gifts for when the s**t hits the fan

by Amy Swales
22 Sep 2017

This Battle of the Sexes legend wants you to STOP asking about McEnroe

“I would like to see John McEnroe win a Grand Slam tournament while pregnant”

by Susan Devaney
22 Sep 2017

“The real reason we should all be upset about Uber”

Grow up: your bank balance really isn’t what’s at stake here

by Kayleigh Dray
22 Sep 2017

There's a huge sherbet fountain coming to London - and it's free

Bompas & Parr are planning a weird, wonderful and nostalgia-filled event

by Helen Brown
22 Sep 2017

Rick and Morty creator responds to sexist trolling of female writers

The show hired four women. Cue cries of “Worst. Episodes. Evah.”

by Amy Swales
22 Sep 2017

Everything you need to know about Uber being banned in London

The taxi firm has had its license revoked by TfL

by Moya Crockett
22 Sep 2017

The new Baileys flavour you’ll want to drink well beyond Halloween

Perfect autumn cocktails ahead

by Amy Swales
22 Sep 2017

This unexpected town has been voted the best place to work in the UK

We didn’t see this one coming

by Moya Crockett
22 Sep 2017

Harry Potter fans, this epic Hogwarts goblet is actually magical

It's perfect for Butterbeer (or prosecco)

by Megan Murray
22 Sep 2017

The hidden meanings behind the nation’s most popular baby names

Prepare for lots of girls’ names ending in ‘a’

by Moya Crockett
22 Sep 2017