Tory MP who opposes gay equality elected to equalities committee

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A Tory MP who fiercely opposed LGBT rights laws has been elected to Parliament’s equality committee.

Philip Davies, the Member of Parliament for Shipley, was elected unopposed to fill a vacated Tory seat on the Women and Equalities Committee,

The committee, chaired by former Culture Secretary Maria Miller, has oversight of matters including LGBT rights and women’s issues.

Meanwhile, Mr Davies 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 later claimed that giving gay people the right to marry discriminates against straight people.

He 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.”

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?”

Ms Philips is also on the committee.

She said: “I’ll not be standing in the way of it. I have every faith that the intelligence and skills of those on the committee will mean he will have little effect, much like in the rest of his career.”

Earlier this year Mr Davies spoke at an event hosted by the ‘Justice for Men and Boys party’ – which calls for equality laws to be scrapped, issuing awards for “lying feminist of the month”, “toxic feminist of the month” and “whiny feminist of the month”.