Leader Of Women’s Equality Party To Stand Against ‘Misogynist’ MP In Election Race


by Anna Brech |
Published on

The leader of the Women's Equality Party, Sophie Walker, says she will stand against "national embarrassment" MP Philip Davies in the June general election.

Walker announced that she will contest the West Yorkshire seat of Shipley in a bid to oust "self-indulgent, anti-women" Davies, the Conservative incumbent.

"Philip Davies basically is a sexist misogynist who puts his own ego ahead of his constituents," Walker told the Guardian this weekend.

"His anti-equality agenda in Westminster threatens the rights and freedoms not just of women but also people with disabilities, BAME (black, Asian, and minority ethnic) and LGBT+ communities. I think that Shipley deserves an MP who will prioritise representing them and the issues that are important to their constituency, rather than using parliament as a stage to play out attention-seeking performances."

Philip Davies: an outspoken critic of "feminist zealots" ©Rex

Davies, who won Shipley by a comfortable majority in the last election, is an outspoken critic of what he calls "zealous" feminism, the principle that underpins Walker's manifesto of gender equality.

He caused controversy last year after he was elected to the Commons Women and Equalities Committee - having previously warned that men's voices are being "neutered", and that women want equality but "only when it suits".

He has accused feminist campaigners of "stirring up" problems, and stated that they "really do want women to have their cake and eat it".

He also came under fire for trying to block a bill directed at protecting women against domestic violence.

Davies said that he welcomed the election challenge from Walker, who says she will be a "voice for all women" in Westminster if voted in.

"I have consistently asked Sophie Walker to quote just one thing I have ever said which has asked for a woman to be treated less favourably than a man, and she hasn’t been able to find even one quote from the 12 years I have spent in parliament," says Davies.

"I would very much welcome Ms Walker parachuting herself into Shipley as a candidate with her extreme politically correct agenda of positive discrimination and quotas, and am very happy to let the good people of the Shipley constituency decide who they want to represent them."

Sophie Walker says the people of Shipley deserve more than "national embarrassment" Philip Davies ©Getty

Candidates from other political parties have indicated that they may step aside to make way for Walker's election in the key marginal seat, the Guardian reports.

Green party and Lib Dem activists in the region are supportive of Walker's bid and are mulling over the idea of standing behind her. However, Labour is likely to mount its own opposition campaign to Davies.

"Right now if you live in Shipley, your MP is best known in Parliament as a sexist whose favourite pastime is inventing long speeches to prevent other MPs from passing important legislation such as the provision of free hospital parking for carers and compulsory sex and relationships education in schools," says Walker.

"Philip Davies' party's austerity policies hit women harder than men and pushed more women into poverty. His party's funding cuts shut vital services to survivors of violence, when two women a week die at the hands of abusive partners."

The Women's Equality Party was launched in 2015 and is co-founded by broadcaster Sandi Toksvig.

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