Hague ‘no hesitation’ over being feminist

William Hague has insisted he has “no hesitation” in calling himself a feminist, telling MPs it was the case “with or without a t-shirt”.

William Hague

Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman yesterday wore a t-shirt branded with the slogan This Is What A Feminist Looks Like in a bid to embarrass Prime Minister David Cameron who has refused to be pictured in the garment.

Labour leader Ed Miliband and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg have both been photographed wearing the £45 shirt by Elle magazine for the campaign.

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And speaking at the weekly Commons business statement, shadow leader of the House Angela Eagle challenged Mr Hague to reveal his position.

He said: “Since I am on record all over the world as saying the great strategic prize of this century is the full economic, social and political empowerment of women everywhere then sometimes, this is what a feminist looks like - with or without the t-shirt.

“I have no hesitation in saying that.”

The former foreign secretary said the Government had a record on women to be proud of.

Addressing Ms Eagle, he said: “You asked about the Government’s record on policies towards women - I have to remind you that under Labour, female unemployment rose 24% and under this Government there are more women in work than ever before.

“When the Government you supported left office, there were 25% of the FTSE 100 boards had no female members. Now there are no FTSE 100 boards that have no female members.

“A higher proportion of public appointments have gone to women this year than in any year in the previous decade. Half of all honours have gone to women, which never happened under the last government.

“There are more women-led businesses than ever before.”