British Conservative MP Louise Mensch has lodged a furious complaint with Prime Minister David Cameron after the wife of one of his most loyal ministers compared her to the surgically enhanced model Jordan.
Mensch is said to have "hit the roof" over an article in the Times last week by Sarah Vine, a journalist married to Education Secretary, Michael Gove. It is thought she has also complained to Tory party whips.
Vine highlighted Mensch's decision to be photographed in a glamorous pose for an interview with men's magazine GQ, in which the Corby MP complained that women politicians were judged on their appearance rather than their political views. It prompted ridicule from fellow MPs and invited unkind associations with other "irritating" MPs.
In her Times article last Thursday, under the headline "Are you a Jordan or a Mensch?", Vine wrote: "Mensch is 40 but has the face of a 25-year-old. Who knows, she may just have great genes. Or not. Whatever, her look is typical of countless women her age of similar social status and means: a smooth face and clear complexion, pert but modest-sized breasts, a lithe and toned body: pure Made in Chelsea.
At the other end of the scale is the TOWIE [The Only Way Is Essex] look, as espoused by Paddy Doherty, Katie Price and any number of orange acolytes."
Vine concluded: "There used to be three classes: upper, middle and working. Now you're either a Jordan, a Mensch or, like me, an unenhanced untermensch."
A Downing St spokeswoman insisted that talks between the Prime Minister and his MPs were private. Mensch did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
In her GQ interview, Mensch said it was sexist to "trivialise a woman politician based on her appearance".
- INDEPENDENTBy Jane Merrick