Grimsby MP Austin Mitchell has hit out at Labour’s continuing use of all women shortlists to select new MPs, saying that “regions such as Yorkshire and the North generally have to be punished for their earlier male chauvinism”
He added that while feminism had made the party brighter and smarter, it was also “more manageable and reasonable, for apart from obsessive feminism, women MPs are more amenable and leadable and less objectionable. But it might not make us tougher”.
Mr Mitchell, soon to retire, yesterday told Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour: “I think the problem is simply this, that parliament with more women is going to be more anxious to discuss issues relevant to the people, that is to say family issues, social issues.
“And less inclined to discuss big issues, like should we invade Iraq.”
Shadow children’s Minister Lucy Powell said: “Austin Mitchell’s sexist and misogynistic comments only highlight further the need for Parliament to modernise and better represent people, including women and others.”