Theresa May is “no friend of women” says Labour’s Dawn Butler

Dawn Butler
Dawn Butler
Dawn Butler, shadow minister for women and equalities, has claimed that Theresa May is ‘no friend of women’.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live’s Pienaar’s Politics, the Labour frontbencher also said that 86 per cent of Government cuts under May have affected women.

She told the programme that both Theresa May and Margaret Thatcher had done ‘absolutely nothing’ for women.

Butler said: “I always like to see women in power, that goes without saying and I am sure at some point we will have a female prime minister.

“But let me tell you something, Theresa May is female but she is no friend of women.”

She continued,”It’s not just about having a female leader, it’s about people that actually care about the issues and Jeremy cares about the issues and he cares about women and he cares about what happens to this country.

“So yes, I would love to see a female Labour prime minister, but the female Tory Prime ministers that we’ve had have done absolutely nothing for women.”

Speaking in front of the Women and Equalities Committee, Butler responded to questions about what action could be taken to improve the number of women in the House of Commons.

She said that Labour’s success using ‘all female’ shortlists made a difference to their female MP’s- from 9.1 per cent in 1987 to 45 per cent in 2007.

She added: “The other thing, this might sound a bit flippant, but more rubbish women because women always have to be quite spectacular and driven.

“We know when we have reached real equality when we have as many rubbish women in Parliament as we have rubbish men.”

The Brent MP also said she believed sexism, racism, misogyny and bullying online all stop women from becoming involved in politics.

Asked why more had not been done to change attitudes within parties, Butler added: “Sometimes you have to wait for people to die before it changes.

“Sometimes it’s slow progress in terms of people do not want to change, so they feel that if women are to get involved they have to step aside, rather than seeing it as a positive measure that the more women you get involved, the better diverse decisions are made.

“Sometimes it’s winning the hearts and minds of the argument that takes time.”

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