Harman hits out as Tories make north ‘women-free zone’

HARRIET Harman has warned of a voter backlash as the Tories make the north a male-only political landscape.

Labour Party's deputy leader Harriet Harman

The Labour deputy leader has said there is no sign of a “women to women” message from the party, and questioned why, from Northumberland, through Yorkshire and down to the Humber, there is unlikely to be a single Conservative MP after the General Election.

Her comments came on the day Thirsk Tory Anne McIntosh announced she will not stand as an independent after being forced out by her local party. Ms McIntosh’s safe Tory seat will instead be fought by millionaire estate agent Kevin Hollinrake.

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Ms Harman said: “Let’s see what happens at the next General Election, but I think this is a message to women that the Tory party thinks that it is perfectly alright for men to be making the decisions and women to be making the tea and I think that that is old fashioned, and it means that their policies lag behind and that lies behind the reason that in so many things the Government has done women have lost out since 2010.

“I do not see the Tory’s campaign on women to women, where is it?”

The shadow arts minister was speaking as Labour released research showing the cost of childcare had risen 36 per cent on average across the UK in the last five years, though figure was down to 16 per cent in Yorkshire.