Tory MP Karl McCartney has claimed that schools should emphasise “building sites and getting your hands dirty” to boys because they are “born” to be more masculine.

Mr McCartney, the Conservative Party Member of Parliament for Lincoln, made the claim during a Parliamentary debate in Westminster Hall.

The MP claimed that “the educational system, schools and the sector as a whole are not focused enough on supporting boys” due to the lack of understanding around “masculinity”.

He claimed: “Boys need outlets for their creativity, energy and natural instincts. They need to know it is okay to be masculine, and that masculinity is the equal of femininity.

“It is a positive thing to like cars, engines, building sites, getting your hands dirty and playing sport. It is also a positive thing to like dancing, painting, sculpture, acting and writing plays, but we must not shy away, at any level, from celebrating what traditional male or masculine roles are; they are what we as males were born to do. It may also surprise some ladies that some males can multitask.

“Some of us can cook, wash, sew and manipulate a Dyson without instruction and make a damn good job of it.”

He added: “[We need] an environment that nurtures and celebrates, and does not denigrate, masculinity.”

Elsewhere, the MP suggested the “shrill equal pay brigade” had overplayed sexism in employment.

He claimed: “We can see that all played out when it comes to wages. According to the Office for National Statistics, on average men in full-time or part-time work under 29 years of age are paid less per hour on average than similarly aged women.

“That remarkable transition flies in the face of the shrill equal pay brigade, who while proclaiming the need for equality seem quietly to gloss over that fact when shouting from the rooftops with regard to equal pay.”

Feminist campaigners pointed out that Mr McCartney singled out a very specific figure for under 29s, which is one of few data points out of hundreds that shows men being paid less.

Labour MP Jess Phillips tweeted: “I’m getting a t-shirt with ‘Shrill Equal Pay Brigade’ on it. Might start a pop group aswell, who’s with me #shrill”