Labour MPs and feminist organisations have called on Theresa May to suspend Philip Davies after it emerged the Tory MP gave a speech pointing out how the UK justice system favours women.
Jeremy Corbyn is among the voices demanding Mr Davies be suspended from the Conservative Party for what the Labour leader called “deeply sexist” comments at a men’s rights conference. At the International Conference on Men’s Issues the Shipley MP detailed how, for the same crimes, women are much less likely to be sent to prison than men and are given shorter sentences.
In his speech on the “justice gender gap” the MP noted that despite this, feminist politicians are still calling for more lenient treatment for women offenders and, astonishingly, in doing so citing concerns about “equality”.
On Twitter, Mr Corbyn urged Theresa May to withdraw the whip on Mr Davies whose comments, the embattled Labour leader said, “are deeply sexist and show utter contempt for women”.
Comments made by Philip Davies are deeply sexist and show utter contempt for women. Theresa May should suspend him. pic.twitter.com/vBpvBJFIC2
— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) August 12, 2016
Attached to Mr Corbyn’s tweet was a quote from the shadow secretary for women and equalities on Mr Davies’ speech. Angela Rayner also called for the popular Tory MP to be suspended, and demanded an investigation be carried out.
Ms Rayner said “there is no place for [Mr Davies’] views in modern Britain”, describing the Shipley MP’s opinions are “so outdated they are almost prehistoric”.
Ms Rayner, who has previously come under fire for bullying behaviour in which she “ranted” at a shop’s manager over a pair of Star Wars R2-D2 shoes and used Commons stationery to try and get the man sacked, said Mr Davies should become a “figure of fun”, mocked by “every satirist in the country”.
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said: “Philip Davies comments are astonishing. The need for feminism is self-evident.”
In his 45-minute speech, Mr Davies condemned “the drive for women to have so-called equality on all the things that suit the politically correct agenda but not other things that don’t.”
Mr Davies told the conference: “[Feminists] fight for their version of equality on all the things that suit women – but are very quick to point out that women need special protections and treatment on other things.”
The MP blamed “militant feminists and the politically correct males” for pushing a divisive “‘equality but only when it suits’ agenda”.
Mr Davies said: “The drive for women to have so-called equality on all the things that suit the politically correct agenda but not other things that don’t is of increasing concern to me.”
As well as citing Home Office, Ministry of Justice and House of Commons Library figures to demonstrate the justice system’s leniency to women offenders, Mr Davies highlighted other examples where women are favoured.
Among these were “childcare resettlement licenses” which allow women to go home for weekends to spend time with their children prior to their release.
Mr Davies referred to economist Vicki Pryce’s prison memoirs, which reveal: “The result [of childcare resettlement licenses] was, at times over the weekend the prison was less than half full. In fact what amazed me was the sheer number of people who were away most of the time.”
The MP, who sits on the Commons justice committee also pointed out that despite constant media, charity and government focus on “violence against women and girls”, men are much more likely to be victims of violent crime, including murder.
In November last year, Mr Davies’ suggestion that parliament use International Men’s Day to discuss problems facing men was scorned by Labour MP Jess Phillips. Mr Davies’ plea, which highlighted issues including spiraling rates of male suicide and record underachievement of boys in schools, was met with petulant eye-rolling and ridicule by the MP for Birmingham Yardley.