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Andrea Jenkyn swore at what she later called a “baying mob” as she entered Downing Street to hear Boris Johnson’s resignation speech.
Commenting on the incident, he told Times Radio that he did not “endorse” her behaviour.
Asked about the incident by Times Radio, Mr Shapp said: “I’d like to see a high standard of propriety with everyone. I wouldn’t endorse that.
“I also think though we would be doing very well to talk about the future and vision for this country, and the reason that I want to lead is because I think this country has its best days ahead.”
She said she stood up for herself after being subject to “huge amounts of abuse” over the years, including two death threats in recent weeks.
“I should have shown more composure but am only human,” she added.
Prior to her statement, Commons Leader Mark Spencer had said it was up to Ms Jenkyns to "justify" her actions after she was caught on camera making the gesture.
He told BBC Breakfast: "I don't seek to condone that at all. I mean, Andrea will have to... justify that for herself.
"But I do understand emotions were running pretty high and they were pretty raw on that day.
"But I don't think that was the right thing to do at all."