Minister's suggestion MPs should avoid parliament’s bars to avoid sexism sparks criticism

Minister's suggestion MPs should avoid parliament’s bars to avoid sexism sparks criticism
Rachel Reeves says female MPs deal with sexism and misogyny ‘every day ...

A minister's suggestion that MPs should avoid bars to get away from Westminster's sexist culture has triggered a backlash.

Speaking to Times Radio, defence minister Ben Wallace left some listeners with their eyebrows raised after he said politicians should go home after the working day to reduce the “poisonous” culture of inappropriate and sexist behaviour in the commons.

He said: “The fundamental problem of Westminster is the overall culture that hundreds and hundreds of people are working long hours in a place with bars and that mix becomes poisonous.

“We’ve seen fights, we’ve seen sexist comments, we’ve seen propositions…my advice to any MP is actually avoid the bars. Finish a day’s work and go home.”

His intervention comes amid accusations that an unnamed Tory MP recently watched porn in the house of commons. Meanwhile, 56 MPs are under investigation for sexual misconduct.

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And conversations and debates about the culture in Westminster all kicked off when a Mail on Sunday story claimed deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner sometimes tries to distract Boris Johnson during Prime Minister's Questions by crossing and uncrossing her legs.

It was slammed by politicians across the political spectrum for being misogynistic.

With all that in mind, people thought Wallace - while probably well meaning and reasonable in expecting MPs not to spend all their time boozing in subsidised bars - had in some way missed the point:

indy100 has contacted Wallace to comment on this story.

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