Tory MP Philip Davies says 'women and equalities committee' should be renamed to remove reference to women

The Conservative MP has previously hit out at ‘feminist zealots’

Jon Stone
Political Correspondent
Thursday 02 February 2017 12:09 GMT
Philip Davies: 'Women and equalities committee' should be renamed to remove reference to women

A Conservative MP who sits on the Women and Equalities Committee has called for the body’s name to be changed to drop any explicit mention of women.

Philip Davies, who has long campaigned against what he calls “feminist zealots”, said the committee should simply be renamed the “Equalities Committee”.

“Every single departmental select committee is named after the department that it scrutinises,” he asked the Government front bench on Thursday morning.

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“I’m on the Justice Select Committee that scrutinises the Ministry of Justice.

“The only exception is the Women and Equalities Committee which shadows the Government Equalities Office.

“Surely this committee should be called the Equalities Committee?

“If he can’t agree to that, can he tell us why women’s issues could not be included in a committee called the Equalities Committee?”

Mr Davis’s question was responded to by the deputy leader of the House of Commons, Michael Ellis.

“As to the name of the select committee of which the honourable gentleman is a valued member I would suggest that what he ought to do perhaps is approach to the chair of that committee and invite the committee chair to write to the leader and the matter will be considered in the normal way,” Mr Ellis said.

Mr Davis was elected unopposed to the Women and Equalities Committee last year.

The MP for Shipley said in August that “feminist zealots” were “stirring up” problems and that a number of women wanted equality but “only when it suits”.

He has campaigned hard for the recognition of International Men’s Day in Parliament, arguing last month that men have lost their voice in the national discourse in recent years.

Last year Mr Davies caused a storm after he said more women should be sent to prison in order to achieve equality with men.

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