UK Politics

Men's rights MP Philip Davies voted on to women's committee

Philip Davies
Image caption Mr Davies has claimed some feminists want to have 'their cake and eat it'

Tory MP Philip Davies, a vocal critic of political correctness and "zealous" feminism, has been voted on to the Commons women and equalities committee.

The Shipley MP was elected unopposed in a ballot of fellow Tories.

He has warned that men's voices are being "neutered" and that their rights must be more strongly defended.

It is thought some Labour MPs could seek to challenge his nomination although Jeremy Corbyn has said it is a matter for Parliament not for him.

Mr Davies has regularly called for more focus in the Commons on men's issues, including suicide rates and educational under-achievement among young men and what he says is the varying treatment of male and female prisoners.

In a speech at the Justice for Men and Boys party's International Men's Conference earlier this year he attacked "militant feminists and politically correct males who pander to this nonsense", accusing them of fighting for equality while also seeking special protection when it suited them.

His claim that "feminist zealots really do want women to have their cake and eat it" prompted a backlash on social media.

'Male equivalents'

In a newspaper article last month, he complained that there was a women and equalities minister, a Commons committee devoted to women's issues and a women's question time in the Commons but "no equivalents" for men.

His nomination has provoked a lively debate on Twitter with former Conservative MP Louise Mensch among those to welcome the move but others questioning why men are even allowed to be on the committee.

Mr Davies is not the first man on the committee, chaired by the former Conservative culture secretary Maria Miller. Conservative MP Ben Howlett and Labour's Gavin Shuker are also currently members.

The committee was set up last year, with a formal remit to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the Government Equalities Office (GEO) and the government's wider record on equalities issues.

So far, it has launched inquiries into the gender pay gap, women in executive positions, pregnancy and maternity discrimination and the treatment of women in the Commons among other issues.

Mr Davies, who was elected to Parliament in 2005, was for several years a member of the culture and media select committee in which he was known for his robust questioning of witnesses, including regulators and BBC executives.

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