Conservative MPs have faced “widespread abuse” after Labour’s Angela Rayner used the word “scum” in a Parliamentary debate, the party’s co-chairwoman says.

Amanda Milling has written to Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer asking if he will take action against Labour MPs “who perpetrate abuse”.

Ms Rayner made the comment in the House of Commons on Wednesday during a speech by Tory MP Chris Clarkson.

She later apologised for the “language that I used in a heated debate”.

Ms Milling, in a letter signed by more than 100 Tory backbenchers, wrote that Ms Rayner’s use of the word “scum” towards Mr Clarkson was “unacceptable”.

She said it resulted in the phrase “Tory scum” trending on Twitter and caused “widespread abuse towards members of our parliamentary party”, including abusive phone calls and MPs’ offices being targeted.

“We respectfully ask you to take action, reaffirming your commitment to working constructively, asking Labour MPs and party members to act appropriately at all times, taking action against those who perpetrate this unacceptable abuse online and offline, and publicly apologise for Angela Rayner’s record of unparliamentary behaviour,” she wrote to Sir Keir.

Labour has been contacted for a comment.

Ms Rayner, the party’s deputy leader who represents Ashton-under-Lyne in Greater Manchester, opened Wednesday’s debate, which was about financial support for regions facing tighter coronavirus restrictions.

Later, Mr Clarkson – also a Greater Manchester MP – criticised the area’s Labour mayor, Andy Burnham, and accused the opposition of “opportunism”.

At this point, Ms Rayner was overheard saying “scum” from her seat on Labour’s frontbench and was rebuked by the Deputy Speaker Dame Eleanor Laing.