Minister Who Gave Crowd The Middle Finger Says She Was Reacting To 'Baying Mob'

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Andrea Jenkyns speaking at a Leave Means Leave rally in Birmingham. (Photo: Aaron Chown - PA Images via Getty Images)
Andrea Jenkyns speaking at a Leave Means Leave rally in Birmingham. (Photo: Aaron Chown - PA Images via Getty Images)

Andrea Jenkyns speaking at a Leave Means Leave rally in Birmingham. (Photo: Aaron Chown - PA Images via Getty Images)

A newly-appointed minister who gave the middle finger to members of the public has defended her actions.

Andrea Jenkyns, who was made an education minister by outgoing prime minister Boris Johnson on Friday, said she was responding to a “baying mob” outside Downing Street.

The Morley and Outwood MP came in for severe criticism after video footage emerged of her making the offensive gesture on Thursday.

She and other MPs still supportive of Johnson had been on their way to watch him make his resignation speech on the steps of Number 10.

Responding to the criticism on Twitter, Jenkyns said she had been subjected to “huge amounts of abuse” over the years, including two death threats in recent weeks and had finally snapped.

She said: “On Thursday afternoon I went to Downing Street to watch the prime minister’s resignation speech.

“A baying mob outside the gates were insulting MPs on their way in, as is sadly all too common.

“After receiving huge amounts of abuse from some of the people who were there over the years, and I have also had seven death threats in the last four years.

“Two of which have been in recent weeks and are currently being investigated by the police, I had reached the end of my tether.

“I responded and stood up for myself. Just why should anyone have to put up with this sort of treatment.

“I should have shown more composure but am only human.”

It had previously been reported that Jenkyns had shouted back at the crowd as she was leaving Downing Street following Johnson’s statement.

Footage on social media appeared to record her saying: “Those who laugh last, laugh loudest. Wait and see.”

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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