Andrea Leadsom says men should not be hired to do childcare as they may be paedophiles

She made the comments in an interview during the Conservative leadership contest

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Indy Politics

Men should not be hired to look after young children because of the risk they might be paedophiles, Andrea Leadsom has said.

The Conservative MP and former leadership candidate said the “odds were stacked against” people who hired men and worried they would abuse their children.

She made the comments in an interview with The Times newspaper during the Tory leadership contest. 

In the same interview Ms Leadsom, now the Environment Secretary, raised eyebrows when she appeared to suggest she would be a better Prime Minister than Theresa May because she had children.

She accused the newspaper of distorting what she had said, but her words were confirmed on the release of a taped recording.

Now further controversial, previously unpublished, comments about childcare have been released by the newspaper.

“As an employer we’re not, let’s face it, most of us don’t employ men as nannies, most of us don’t,” she said. “Now you can call that sexist, I call that cautious and very sensible when you look at the stats. Your odds are stacked against you if you employ a man.

“We know paedophiles are attracted to working with children. I’m sorry but they’re the facts.”

The comments led to Ms Leadsom facing further criticism.

Lucy Powell, who was previously Labour's shadow education secretary, told the newspaper: “These comments show an enormous lack of judgement on Andrea’s part.

"She should know as well as I know that not only are men just as capable of doing childcare jobs, but we should want to encourage more men into those jobs as they can bring other benefits.”