Nurses call MPs appointment to the Women and Equalities Committee ‘a backward step for equality’

Ben Bradley will replace 21-year-old fellow Conservative MP Sara Britcliffe to be one of three men in the group. 

Chloe Dawson
2 March 2021
Ben Bradley

The Committee holds the Government to account on equality law and policy.

Nurses took to social media this afternoon to raise their concerns over a Conservative MP appointment to the Women & Equalities Committee.

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Ben Bradley, the MP for Mansfield in Nottinghamshire, has previously sparked outrage after calling for a Minister for Men and suggested that free school meal vouchers for deprived children in his constituency “effectively” handed cash directly to crack dens and brothels.

According to the Committee’s official website, the Women and Equalities Committee holds Government to account on equality law and policy, including the Equality Act 2010 and cross-Government activity on equalities.

Mr. Bradley will replace 21-year-old fellow Conservative MP Sara Britcliffe to be one of three men in the group.

Leanne Patrick, a specialist nurse in gender-based violence and a founding member of a Feminist network for nurses, described the appointment as a “significant backward step for equality”.

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She said; “I am deeply concerned to learn of Ben Bradley’s appointment to the Women and Equalities Committee. He has repeatedly demonstrated a clear lack of understanding on key issues relevant to this role and the Equalities Act. He has shown contempt for women, struggling families, and the black lives matter movement.

“This is a significant backward step for equality at a time when local authorities are rapidly defunding vital women’s services and against the backdrop of growing wealth, health, and social inequality. Ben Bradley has been silent on these issues whilst demonstrating a commitment to elevating men’s rights, refusing anti-discrimination training and declaring Free School Meal Vouchers would go to “crack dens and brothels”.

“This appointment makes little sense and it is hard to imagine a worse pick for this important position.”

Another nurse, who asked not to be named, added; “Ben Bradley has made several comments during his time in Parliament that make his appointment to the Women & Equalities Committee a questionable one.

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“Women all over the UK need representation and the appointment of another white male to a committee designed to uphold the rights of women and ethnic minorities shows a lack of insight into the problem.”

In a statement on social media, Mr. Bradley said he was “delighted” to join the committee.

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