Glenda Jackson has said former prime minister Theresa May was treated badly by the country because she was a woman.
The actress and former MP, 84, told the Radio Times the previous Conservative leader was poorly treated by her own party, as well as others.
She made the comments while discussing her portrayal of Elizabeth I in the BBC series Elizabeth R.
“It never crossed Elizabeth’s mind that she was not the absolute monarch,” she told the magazine.
“With Thatcher, it was entirely different. It was such a change, a shock for Britain, to have a woman as prime minister.
“Even now; I mean, look at how badly the country treated Theresa May. Not only her own party, but the opposition and the press.”
She added her treatment “absolutely” constituted misogyny.
Jackson criticised her successor, saying she would be “lying if I thought Boris Johnson was the right prime minister, or that his cabinet are leaders in their field”.
“But if there is a silver lining to this appalling disease, it’s that we have seen, written in capital letters, how unequal a society we live in,” she added.
“I’m amazed people didn’t know that beforehand. The worst infected are those who were worse off before: people have had damage done to them who did absolutely nothing to deserve it.”
Jackson, a Labour MP from 1992 to 2015, said she is “particularly glad” to see new female MPs representing the party.
She said there is “a new energy level to the party”.
The full interview is in Radio Times magazine, out now.