Philip Davies MP has consistently shown his racist, sexist and bigoted opinions in the House of Commons, and yet he sits on the Women’s and Equality Committee. Is he a suitable person for this important job?
This article is an opinion piece, and all parties involved have been contacted and given the chance to respond.
Davies was elected as the Member of Parliament for Shipley inthe 2005 elections, and has held that position for the Conservative party since. However, his history should really bring into question why he is given such an important role in the government.
In February 2017 he voted against the Instanbul Convention, which was brought about to better the rights of female victims of domestic violence. In fact, he was the only one of 139 MPs to vote against planned action.
Not only this, but he spoke for 91 minutes to argue against the motion in an apparent attempt to delay proceedings and filibuster the bill.
More recently he voted against decriminalising abortion in the UK. He has also voted against raising the state pension for women by £550 a year, and voted against the House of Commons recognising that the gender pay gap is the UK is the highest in the EU.
He described feminists as “zealots” at a so-called ‘men’s conference’ in 2016 run by the Justic for Men and Boys party, who have an article on their website entitled “13 reasons women lie about being raped”. He has even supported the plan of removing the word ‘women’ from his own committee’s name.
His discrimination runs deeper than sexism though. He has also asked in the past ‘why it is so offensive to black your face’, and also made the claim that disabled people should work for less than able-bodied people. He even suggested that they deserve less than minimum wage.
Sophie Walker of the Women’s Equality Party ran against Davies in the Shipley general election explaining that his “track record of misogyny should have no place in Parliament”.
How can someone so sexist, bigoted and racist, be a valid member of a committee that is dedicated to equality, especially for women?
It appears that the UK government are trying to skirt the issue as no response from my questions to them have been answered. It is surely the public’s right to question this appointment?
A spokesperson for the Women and Equality Committee said of his appointment:
“The motion to appoint Mr Davies was put before the House on 19 December 2016.
“If any MP had objected to the motion, there would have been a debate and a vote on it (if the motion is reached before 10pm), or it would have been deferred until another day (if the motion is reached after 10pm). On the 19 December 2016, the motion was carried in the Chamber, meaning that Mr Davies became a member of the Committee.
“Members can be discharged from select Committees once a replacement has been nominated.”
I still welcome any response from Mr Davies, or Theresa May herself.
This article was edited at 3:02pm to include the Women and Equality Committee statement.