Austin Mitchell, Labour MP for Great Grimsby, has made a series of remarks criticising women in Parliament:
“The parliamentary party is undergoing the biggest process of feminisation and rejuvenation embarked on since fabulous pink Camay soap promised to make us look a little lovelier each day.
“Our new preoccupations will be social, educational and family issues, all brought to the fore by the feminisation of Labour through the obsession with All-Women’s Shortlists.
“It cannot be denied that feminisation and youthification will make Parliament brighter, smarter and nicer.
“Yet the Commons will also be more preoccupied with the local rather than the international (not necessarily a bad thing) and small problems rather than big ideas and issues (a very bad thing as it will be less exciting and lead to sixth-form essays read out word for cut-and-pasted word, replacing oratory).
“The Left will be even smaller but the party more manageable and reasonable, for apart from obsessive feminism, women MPs are more amenable and leadable and less objectionable.
“But it might not make us tougher.”
Labour introduced all-women shortlists at its 1993 Autumn Conference, which paved the way for the election of Jacqui Smith, the first female Home Secretary.
Mitchell is a controversial figure, who compared Pfizer’s suggested takeover of AstraZenica to rape.
In response to the criticism, Mitchell said:
“Who’s anti women? All my aunties were women!”
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