Guardian News and Media/London
Dominic Raab has defended his claim that feminists are some of the most obnoxious bigots and that men are getting a raw deal, saying he does not want “double standards” in the debate on equality.
The former Brexit secretary, a leading candidate to be the next prime minister, was challenged on BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show about his comments from 2011, when he said: “From the cradle to the grave, men are getting a raw deal. Feminists are now amongst the most obnoxious bigots.”
He stood by the position by saying it was “really important that in the debate on equality we have a consistency and not double standards and hypocrisy”.
He added: “I think that’s really important, something as important as equality. And just on the practical side of it, I’ve been supporting Maria Miller, the equality select committee chair, this week, saying we should have more protections for new mums, and also saying paternity leave for dad(s) should be a day-one right.”
Raab’s new policy for the leadership campaign is that companies should not be allowed to make women redundant during and for six months after maternity leave and that men should be paid for two-week paternity leave.
However, Jess Phillips, the Labour MP, said she did not believe in Raab’s new interest in women’s rights. “He has never, ever before shown any interest towards advanced progress in women’s rights, workplace rights, maternity rights,” she said.
“He has not just not shown it. He has shown the opposite and called people like me obnoxious bigots for wanting to progress women’s rights. A leopard doesn’t change its spots. And everybody in Westminster knows that Dominic Raab does not have the women in the country’s interests at heart.”
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