Boris Johnson criticised over 'disgusting' single mother comments
Boris Johnson has faced severe criticism over his past comments concerning single mothers, with Labour frontbencher Angela Rayner branding them "disgusting".
In a 1995 Spectator article, the PM wrote that single mothers were raising a generation of "ill-raised, ignorant, aggressive and illegitimate children". Johnson has repeatedly claimed these lines were taken out of context.
Rayner, Labour's shadow education secretary, told the Guardian she "remembered people like that...making comments about".
The MP for Ashton-under-Lyne, 39, added: "I think it's absolutely disgusting.
"I might be the shadow education secretary, but inside I'm that 16-year-old that didn't think I was worth anything. And people like him make women who are already vulnerable feel that they're the problem. They're not the problem."
Rayner went on to praise the children's centres rolled out under the previous Labour administration.
"Luckily for me, I had a Sure Start centre and I had adult education I could go back into. I had a council house waiting for me. All of those things have been dismantled now."
Asked in an interview on ITV's This Morning if he understood his past comments were hurtful, Johnson said: "Of course," adding: "But I don't think this is the time to talk about articles that were written a very long time ago."
He insisted the Tories were intent on putting more money into childcare for mothers and Sure Start services.
The PM's previous columns, in both the Spectator and the Telegraph, have come under scrutiny during the current election campaign.
He was urged to apologise following one article in which Muslim women wearing the burqa were compared to "letterboxes" and "bank robbers".