Boris Johnson’s claim to be a feminist is mocked by Labour’s Jess Phillips
- Credit: Archant
Boris Johnson's claim that he is a feminist has been ridiculed by Labour MP Jess Phillips.
Phillips, a prominent campaigner on women's rights, said: "If Boris Johnson is a feminist, then I went to Eton."
Johnson was one of seven of the current Conservative leadership candidates who told the Guardian they were feminists after Dominic Raab said he "probably wasn't" one.
In 2011 Raab sparked controversy when he claimed men got a "raw deal" and labelled feminists as "obnoxious bigots".
On Raab, Phillips told the Press Association: "The feeling is mutual frankly, if Raab thinks I'm an obnoxious bigot."
You may also want to watch:
On his rivals, she said: "A load of men saying that they are a feminist to try and outdo other men in a competition where they think it is their divine right to rule is not feminism."
Phillips said "feminism is about action", adding that she had not seen many of the Conservative candidates who have declared themselves feminists taking such action.
- 1 These are the 322 Tory MPs who voted against extending free school meals to children
- 2 Question Time: Ex-Tory minister accused of making 'sickening' comment about free schools meals row
- 3 Betty Boothroyd delivers scathing assessment of Boris Johnson's government
- 4 Downing Street withholds praise for business and local authorities offering free meals to hungry children
- 5 Priti Patel bullying inquiry may never be released, hints Boris Johnson's new civil service boss
- 6 House of Lords defies No 10 and votes to heavily defeat Boris Johnson's Brexit bill
- 7 Priti Patel set to hand private firms £28 million in government contracts to deport asylum seekers from UK
- 8 Boris Johnson 'plans to resign' in six months because he can't live on £150k salary
- 9 At the upcoming US election, Donald Trump really is toast
- 10 James O'Brien claims Covid-19 crisis exposed how out of touch Boris Johnson's government is with reality
"What the hell has Boris ever done for the rights of women?
"Boris Johnson has to remember that when we are talking about feminism we are talking about all women, not just the women that he chooses.
"Boris Johnson called loads of women where I live 'letterboxes'. It is racist and sexist and he has done absolutely nothing to go and talk to Muslim women about the reasons that they do anything."
Phillips said she "would like him to prove me wrong if he is going to tell me what actions he is going to take".
On the other candidates, Phillips said: "[Angela] Leadsom can say it, not just because she is a woman, but because I have seen Leadsom fight for change and make the arguments for change in regards to a number of different things.
"Proxy votes, sexual harassment systems. I have seen Leadsom go out sometimes to her own personal detriment to fight for women's rights."
She said she also "noted" Rory Stewart and Matt Hancock to be "on the more progressive side of things" when it comes to women's rights.
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.