Tory MP Philip Davies, who opposes LGBT equality, re-elected to equalities committee
Conservative MP Philip Davies, who opposes equality for women and LGBT people, has been re-elected to Parliament’s Women and Equalities Committee.
Mr Davies was this week re-elected by MPs to serve on the Parliamentary committee responsible for scrutinising the government’s equalities work, made the demand in the Commons.
The MP for Shipley is a strong opponent of LGBT rights, voting against the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations in 2007 and the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act in 2013.
He has previously complained that same-sex marriage law discriminates against straight people, and has branded inclusive sex education “tyranny”.
But he was comfortably re-elected to his spot on the committee.
All members of the committee have strong records on LGBT equality – with the exception of Mr Davies.
Former Culture Secretary Maria Miller, who championed equal marriage, was re-elected as committee chair.
Newly-elected MPs Rosie Duffield (Labour) Kirstene Hair (Conservative) and Jared O’Mara (Labour) filled vacant spots on the committee, while Gavin Shuker (Conservative), Angela Crawley (SNP), Tulip Siddiq (Labour) and Jess Phillips (Labour) were all re-elected.
Mr Davies is an outspoken critic of the women’s rights movement, and previously faced questions over his ties to the so-called ‘Justice for Men and Boys party’ – which issues awards for “lying feminist of the month”, and affirms on its website that “feminists are whiny, gormless, toxic liars”.
Mr Davies used the floor of the House of Commons to attack a secondary school in 2009, after it held an educational LGBT History Month production of ‘Romeo and Julian’.
Davies fumed: “It is better for pupils to learn about Romeo and Juliet and Shakespeare, rather than politically correct Romeo and Julian.”
Labour’s Harriet Harman helpfully reminded him: “As far as I can remember, in Shakespearean times boys would play girls and girls would play boys, and the whole point was trying to work out which was which.”
He has previously called for the Women and Equalities Committee to the Equalities Committee to change its name to exclude ‘Women’.
Last year he filibustered an opposition bill to make inclusive sex and relationship education mandatory in schools.
In his controversial speech he claimed that “the culture of political correctness” led to sexual abuse, also linking sex education to a rise in teen pregnancies. He said: “One day everybody will have to conclude that what we need is less sex education, or even better, none… I hope this Bill goes absolutely nowhere.”
The MP is also known for campaigning for recognition for an ‘International Men’s Day and picking arguments with women’s rights campaigners – memorably clashing with feminist Labour MP Jess Philips on a number of occasions.
In one memorable clash with Ms Phillips in 2015, Mr Davies claimed to “always vote in favour of true equality”.
When she asked “Did you vote for gay marriage?”, he responded “Look, I don’t agree with gay marriage, why would I vote for something I don’t agree with?”