Labour criticises Boris Johnson’s failure to appoint a minister for women and equalities
Labour has criticised Boris Johnson’s failure to appoint a Minister for Women and Equalities following Amber Rudd’s resignation. Dawn Butler MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities, said: “If any government is in desperate need of a Minister to stand up to sexism, racism and homophobia, it’s this one.”
Last week, Boris Johnson was accused of sexism for using derogatory phrases such as “girly swot” and “big girl’s blouse”. He was confronted during PMQs by Labour MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, who demanded the Prime Minister apologise for comparing Muslim women to letterboxes and launch an inquiry into Islamophobia in the Conservative party.
Labour has accused the Prime Minister of having a problem with women after he wrote that the way to deal with advice from a female colleague was to “just pat her on the bottom and send her on her way”, suggested that the increase in the number of Malaysian women going to university was to “find men to marry” and described women attending a party conference as “hot totty”.
Boris Johnson has also defended his articles in which he described black people as “picanninies” with “watermelon smiles” and described gay people as “tank-topped bum boys”.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Dawn Butler MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities, said:
Mr Speaker, I would like to raise a point of order.
Following last week’s resignation, I am deeply concerned that the position I shadow – Minister for Women and Equalities – remains vacant.
With more than half of the current cabinet opposed to equal marriage I am concerned that this brief is being undermined deliberately to roll back hard fought for rights and protections.
Being a bit of a girly swot I have calculated the following. The next appointment will be the tenth to the brief since 2010. It has moved departments 4 times – and if we have a new minister it will be the fifth minister that I will have shadowed in just 2 years.
Trump described Boris Johnson as Britain’s Trump.
In the United States we’ve seen what can happen when you place a racist and sexist in charge of the country. Implementing a Muslim ban for people arriving or leaving the country, banning trans people from serving in the military, pushing to allow businesses to turn LGBT+ customers away or making it easier for LGBT+ people to be sacked, or telling “The Squad” – a group of four elected Congresswomen of colour – to “go back” to their countries.
Our Prime Minister is modelling his campaign on his mate Trump, proven by the fact that Number 10 recently carried out so-called “culture war” polling on trans people.
It’s a disgrace to equalities. It is so obvious that the Tories do not care about this brief, Women have suffered 87% of the cuts and we have seen a 375% rise in hate crime.
Mr Speaker we cannot allow this kind of hateful and divisive politics to continue to infect the UK.
If any government is in desperate need of a Minister to stand up to sexism, racism and homophobia, it’s this one.
Mr Speaker I wonder if you can shed the light on when the Prime Minister will stop passing this vitally important brief around like an inconvenience, and treat Women and Equalities with the respect that it deserves by appointing a full-time Secretary of State and making it a stand-alone brief like the Labour Party has pledged to do?