Catty Tory MPs mocked Cheryl Gillan behind her back during prime minister's questions on Wednesday, as the Leopard Print-clad former Welsh secretary stood to ask David Cameron about High Speed Rail.

Keith Simpson, who is a parliamentary aide to William Hague, was clearly seen (in the video above scroll to 25 minutes) making "rawr" noises and swiping a catlike paw in Gillan's direction as she tackled the prime minister over the controversial rail line.

And health minister Anna Soubry also joined in by raising both hands as claws and directing her own feline purr at the former cabinet minister - as did former education minister Tim Loughton.

The gang's joke was likely to have be directed both at Gillan's choice of clothes and her notoriety for opposing the government's flagship HS2 project.

Gillan's office said she was aware of what was going on behind her, but was "not particularly bothered by it".

The mockery may not help the Conservative Party's image as being out of touch with the concerns of women.

Last week Hague got in trouble after being seen to mutter "stupid woman" at a Labour MP. The foreign secretary later remarked he "never intend any offence".

And David Cameron infamously was accused of sexism after he told Labour front bencher Angela Eagle to "calm down dear" during one particularly noisy PMQs in 2011.

Also on HuffPost:

Political Insults
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  • Tory MP Simon Burns on John Bercow

    <em>"Stupid, sanctimonious dwarf"</em>

  • David Cameron on Ukip

    <em>"fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists, mostly"</em>

  • Winston Churchill on Clement Attlee

    <em>"A sheep in sheep's clothing."</em>

  • Vince Cable on Gordon Brown

    <em>"The House has noticed the prime minister's remarkable transformation in the last few weeks from Stalin to Mr Bean"</em>

  • Gordon Brown on Labour-voting Gillian Duffy

    <em>"A bigoted woman"</em>

  • Barack Obama on Donald Trump

    <em>"He can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter, like ‘Did we fake the moon landing?’ ‘What really happened in Roswell?’ And, ‘Where are Biggie and Tupac?’”</em>

  • Denis Healey on Geoffrey Howe

    <em>"like being savaged by a dead sheep"</em>

  • David Cameron on Mitt Romney

    <em>"Of course it's easier if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere."</em>

  • Tony Blair on the Welsh

    <em>"Fucking Welsh"</em>

  • Nigel Farage on EU President Herman Van Rompuy

    <em>"I don't want to be rude but, really, you have the charisma of a damp rag and the appearance of a low-grade bank clerk"</em>

  • Labour MP Tony Banks on Margaret Thatcher

    <em>"the sensitivity of a sex-starved boa-constrictor"</em>