North-East accents a target for Westminster 'bullies', says Pat Glass, MP for North West Durham (From The Northern Echo)
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North-East accents a target for Westminster 'bullies', says Pat Glass, MP for North West Durham
5:45pm Sunday 16th February 2014 in News
Pat Glass, MP for North West Durham, thinks there is a macho and bullying culture in the House of Commons
FEMALE MPS are being ‘bullied’ in the House of Commons because of their North-East accents, it has been claimed.
The region is represented by several women including Pat Glass, MP for Durham North West, new South Shields MP, Emma Lewell-Buck and Sunderland MP, Julie Elliott.
After being repeatedly heckled in the chamber Mrs Glass told told her colleagues their behaviour was ‘unacceptable’.
“The hardest thing I have had to cope with since becoming an MP is the macho culture of the House of Commons," she explained.
"It is gladiatorial, and led by the male MPs. They are macho, there is bullying, and it is far worse for female MPs. And the Tories will behave worse especially with accents. If they spot a northern accent they start shouting about it to put you off.”
Mrs Glass added that the abuse is worse for those women MPs with a strong accent, such as new South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck.
“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," she added referring to the stand-up comedienne.
There are 48 female Tory MPs compared to 256 males, and only four fully fledged members of the 22-strong cabinet. In the shadow cabinet, there are 14 women out of 27 members.
The Conservatives declined to comment last night, but Mr Cameron has admitted there were “not nearly enough” female Tory MPs.