‘I’ve been worried about them’: Angela Rayner condemns abuse aimed at Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield in ‘Queuegate’ row

  • Labour deputy leader spoke at a fringe event panel on dangers of social media
  • She said that although This Morning presenters are famous, they have feelings
  • Miss Rayner┬ásaid she rarely reads offensive comments directed at her
  • The Queen’s funeral: All the latest Royal Family news and coverage

Angela Rayner has said the criticism of Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby for appearing to skip the queue to see the Queen lying in state is excessive.

The Labour deputy leader said that although the This Morning presenters are famous, they still have feelings and must be affected by the backlash they are facing.

Speaking at a fringe event panel on the dangers of social media, Miss Rayner said: ‘I’ve seen it with what’s been happening with Phillip Schofield and Holly just recently and I’ve been worried about them.

Angela Rayner (pictured) has said the criticism of Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby for appearing to skip the queue to see the Queen lying in state is excessive

The Labour deputy leader said that although the This Morning presenters (pictured) are famous, they still have feelings and must be affected by the backlash they are facing

Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield are seen at a non-public entrance to Westminster Hall

‘Because even though they’re celebrities and people know them, they’re human beings. I think that the online attack on them, as a human being, to have that is really damaging.’

Miss Rayner also admitted that she sometimes receives abuse online from fellow left-wingers.

She said she rarely reads offensive comments directed at her but her staff have to trawl through them to decide which need to be reported to the police. She also said she feared other working-class women will be put off following her into politics knowing that they will be trolled online.

Her message to social media firms was ‘it’s your gaff, sort it out, you have responsibility to do that’ but self-regulation had so far failed.

‘They’ve tried to self-regulate, they’ve tried to say “we’ll look after you”. They haven’t, they’ve not been able to do it and now it’s time for us to legislate.’

Schofield and Willoughby attended the lying in state to film a segment for their ITV morning show without taking part in the public queue.

The pair acknowledged the backlash but stressed they had ‘respected’ the rules set for the media.

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