Lee Anderson, one of the Women and Equalities Committee’s newest members, made his first emphatic statement on related matters in the Commons this afternoon – by railing against a glossary of ‘equality, diversity and inclusion’ which appeared on the NHS website this morning:
“Now then, I see that our NHS have published their very own woke alphabet. Which includes terms such as ‘white fragility’ for the letter W. Now not only is this a load of nonsense, it’s also very divisive. So does my right honourable friend agree with me that the vast majority of our brilliant NHS staff are more interested in keeping the nation healthy, rather than learning the ABC of woke-ry?”
The page has already been deleted, easy as 1-2-3.
Guido learns that parliament’s wokest committee – the Women and Equalities Committee – is to welcome two new, perhaps unexpected, members: Philip Davies and Lee Anderson. Philip Davies is making a, no doubt, welcome return after having served on it in 2016 – where he made headlines calling for the word “women” to be removed from the Committee’s name. Lee Anderson is a co-conspirator favourite: from saying nuisance tenants should be forced to live in tents; to recently ranting that he’s torn up his licence fee. Confirming the appointment, Lee told Guido:
“The great women of Ashfield have been the backbone of my community for hundreds of years with barely any recognition.
Yes the men have worked down the pits and gone off to war but its our women that have kept everything together.
The women in communities like Ashfield need a voice in Parliament and anyone who knows me will tell you that I am a firm believer in better rights for women. I am a modern man with a modern outlook who is keen to speak up for the women in my community.
They deserve to be on a level playing field with us men which is not always the case. I will still open doors for women and give up my seat on public transport as I am a gentleman first and a politician second, but you can be assured that I will be fighting on all fronts for the women of Ashfield.”
Both men will no doubt relish the appointments, which they richly deserve. Guido sends his warmest congratulations to the pair. Chapeau to the 1922 Committee on the wit and wisdom of their appointments.
With Parliament rebooting its functions, the crucial role of the Women and Equalities Select Committee during the international Coronavirus crisis cannot be understated. Appearing electronically before the panel this morning, Liz Truss gave a fiery performance, rejecting Chairman Caroline Nokes’ probing over a lack of gender diversity at the Government’s daily press briefings. Truss swatted back, saying “I don’t like tokenism, the idea someone should appear at a press conference or a media interview because they’re a woman”. Watch the exchange highlights above…