To better appreciate the gravity and general not-OK-ness of the remarks about Theresa May made by the MP for South Northamptonshire in an interview with The Times, indy100 has re-imagined the race for Tory Leader as a male vs female contest. The results are quite eye opening.
In addition he believes his quotes have been twisted to make it appear as though he is using his fatherhood as a qualification for prime minister.
Then the Times released the transcript.
Andy Leadsom, MP for South Northamptonshire:
Yes. I am sure Theresa will be really sad she doesn't have children so I don't want this to be 'ANDY has children, Theresa hasn't' because I think that would be really horrible but genuinely I feel that being a DAD means you have a very real stake in the future of our country, a tangible stake.
She [May] possibly has nieces, nephews, lots of people, but I have children who are going to have children who will directly be a part of what happens next.
The Times asked Leadsom about how he empathises with voters:
I think when you are thinking about the issues that other people have, you worry about your kids' exam results, what direction their careers are taking, what we are going to eat on Sunday.
They went on to ask how he and Mrs May differ:
Mr Leadsom made clear that HE intended to highlight the difference over children in the campaign. Asked to contrast HIMSELF with Mrs May, HE said: 'I see myself as one, an optimist, and two, a member of a huge family and that’s important to me. My kids are a huge part of my life.'
Andy Leadsom has previously been accused of social conservatism. In a blog post written in 2006, the father wrote this about single parent families:
the child of a single parent family is 70% more likely (than the child of a two parent family), to have problems at school, and even to become a drug addict or a criminal, you have a situation that cannot be ignored.
During a live TV debate in the run up to the EU referendum, Mr Leadsom was mocked for beginning many of his arguments with the expression "Speaking as a dad".
Since Andy Leadsom's denial that he compared his fatherhood to Mrs May's lack of children for political purposes, the Times has released the audio recording from the interview.
Regrettably, in the PC gone mad world in which we live, if Leadsom were a woman, he might have gotten away with claiming parenthood made him the better candidate. But from a man it just looks silly. Another exaggeration to add to his CV, perhaps.