Tory MP names the MPs he suggests were chosen solely because of their gender

PUBLISHED: 21:41 30 September 2019 | UPDATED: 21:54 30 September 2019

Philip Davies has named two MPs he felt were chosen

Philip Davies has named two MPs he felt were chosen "simply because of their gender". Picture: David Mirzoeff/PA Wire/PA Images

PA Wire/PA Images

A Conservative MP has named names after he was questioned for suggesting that some MPs were only chosen for their "gender or the colour of their skin".

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The remark by MP Philip Davies was made at a Tory conference fringe panel discussion entitled "Is the state killing free speech?".

The MP for Shipley said at the panel discussion: "I would like to see more Conservatives in parliament with sound conservative principles and not flaky would-be pretend socialists, politically correct stooges, chosen simply because of their gender or the colour of their skin".

The comment was widely criticised on social media.

Davies later clarified to The New European that he had been talking about former 'A-listers', a list of candidates used by David Cameron which Davies said were prioritised "simply" on the candidates' ethnicity and gender.

He added, as examples, former Conservatives Heidi Allen and Sarah Wollaston.

He denied he had ever said anyone was in the Tory party because of the colour of their skin.

Davies sits on the Women and Equalities Committee as well as being parliamentary spokesperson for the Campaign Against Political Correctness.

At the panel discussion, which was organised by lobbyist group the Taxpayers' Alliance, he said that he does not care about the gender or ethnicity of any of his colleagues.

"I think that we'll only have true equality when we don't even think about somebody's sex, or for that matter their race or their sexuality," he said. "That shouldn't be what defines them.

"Tick boxes need to be eliminated and common sense needs to be returned."

He told The New European afterwards: "Like Ann Widdecombe I was opposed to the A list (and other forms of positive discrimination) where people were prioritised simply because they were women or from ethnic minorities.

"I believe people should be selected on merit and merit alone."

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He added: "I think we have seen a number of women Tory MPs who fit into that category who aren't actually Conservatives - Heidi Allen and Sarah Wollaston spring immediately to mind."

The New European has contacted Wollaston and Allen for comment. Allen declined to offer immediate comment.

In the panel discussion, Philips also railed against "cultural Marxism" and the Frankfurt School of philosophy.

Also on the Taxpayers' Alliance-organised panel were the Spectator's Toby Young, political commentator Alex Deane, and Telegraph comment editor Madeleine Grant, who were all in agreement with the idea that the state is killing free speech.

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