SOUTH Shields MP, Emma Lewell-Buck has refused to be drawn into a row over claims that sexist Tories are mocking their northern female counterparts because of their accents.
The Labour MP for Durham North West, Pat Glass, has accused the Conservatives of orchestrating abuse during Commons debates.
Mrs Glass said that the abuse is worse for female MPs with a strong accent, such as Lewell-Buck.
However, Mrs Lewell-Buck says she doesn’t wish to be dragged in to the debate and refused to comment on the matter.
Mrs Glass, who likened the town MP’s voice to fellow Sanddancer and comedian Sarah Millican, said: “I know Emma has a lovely strong accent but they have really gone for her in the chamber over that, really gone for her.
“She has that Sarah Millican accent and they shout at her because of it.
> Sanddancer = a native of South Shields
“There are big differences between my accent and hers but, generally, if you are a woman, they target you and if you have a northern accent, they go for you.”
Mrs Glass said it was not just older Tory MPs who were guilty of barracking Labour women, and she blamed the “macho” culture Westminster culture.
She said: “The hardest thing I found going into Parliament was the culture.
“If I had gone to an all-boys public school I would have fitted in, but I didn’t.
“What I found is if a woman gets to speak, particularly women with an accent, then there is orchestrated barracking.
“You don’t get to see it on television because the camera is fixed on the person who is speaking and not on the orchestrated response.
“I get the impression they think women who are northerners should not be there.”
> Oh well, I suppose that explains why we rarely seem to hear a squeak from North East Labour MPs, however draconian the policies being forced through… the female ones anyway.
Source – Shields Gazette 18 Feb 2014