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‘Minister for Men’

"Remember when he said that having a female Doctor Who drives men to commit crime?"

Reactions have poured in from across social media following an MP’s renewed plea for a dedicated Minister for Men.

Appearing on the BBC’s Women’s Hour, Tory MP Nick Fletcher argued that men had been “neglected” amid the drive the equality, referring to the fact men tended to die younger while making up 96% of the prison population.

The flagship Radio 4 programme is holding a phone-in on whether there should be a minister for men tomorrow amid claims a dedicated department could champion issues such as reducing male suicide and improving paternity rights.

Fletcher, who chairs the APPG on Issues Affecting Men and Boys, said: “If men are living a better, happier healthier life then it’s better for women too, and it is better for society as a whole.

“I see an awful lot of young boys and young men out there with little aspiration. Life is not giving the best opportunities and they tend to be neglected by lots of people within the authority and also government as a whole. We need to be addressing this.

But host Nuala McGovern was quick to challenge the Fletcher, who represents Don Valley, highlighting the issue of the gender pay gap and the fact most MPs are male.

Asked whether her thought the needs of boys and men were ‘greater’ than of girls and women, Fletcher said: “Not at all, I’ve got a wife and a daughter, I want them to have fantastic lives too, just as much as my son and myself.

“Over the last century we’ve worked really hard with equality, to put women at the table along with men, which is super-important. But we can do two things at once.”

Last year, the Red Wall MP told the Commons that having a women’s minister but not one for men meant there was not “fair treatment” as he led a debate on International Men’s Day.

He said: “Equality means equal and fair treatment. When you ask members of the public, including so-called red wall seats like mine, whether it is fair and equal to have a minister for women and not for men they of course say no.

“They, like me, believe we should have both. Why would anybody who truly believes in equality think different?”

But Fletcher isn’t the only Westminster figure to have called for a dedicated Minister for Men.

Former minister Katherine Fletcher called on the government to champion men’s health in July and said it was right that men received attention in certain issues as well as women.


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