PRESS regulator Ipso has received more than 5000 complaints over a Mail on Sunday article about Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner.

The article claimed that an unnamed Tory MP had told the newspaper Rayner crossed and uncrossed her legs on the Labour front bench during Prime Minister’s Questions in an attempt to distract Boris Johnson.

The Independent Press Standards Organisation said it was exploring possible breaches of clauses one (accuracy), three (harassment) and 12 (discrimination) of the Editors’ Code of Practice.

The latter states that press “must avoid prejudicial or pejorative reference to an individual’s race, colour, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or to any physical or mental illness or disability”.

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Ipso said on Monday that it had received 5500 complaints about the article and was “dealing with these under our normal procedures”.

On Sunday, Rayner called the story “desperate” and “perverted” and quickly received solidarity from across the House of Commons for the “smear”.

The Prime Minister was among those to publicly condemn the claims on Twitter.

“As much as I disagree with (Ms) Rayner on almost every political issue, I respect her as a parliamentarian and deplore the misogyny directed at her anonymously today,” he wrote.

The tweet was word-for-word the same as one posted by Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries.