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“Odds are stacked against you if you employ a man,” says Andrea Leadsom
OnJul 15, 2016
Environment and rural affairs secretary Andrea Leadsom has come under fire from leaders across the country after her comments on men in childcare.
During an interview with a reporter from The Times, Leadsom implied that male childcarers could be paedophiles.
“As an employer we’re not, let’s face it, most of us don’t employ men as nannies, most of us don’t. Now you can call that sexist, I call that cautious and very sensible when you look at the stats,” she said.
“Your odds are stacked against you if you employ a man. We know paedophiles are attracted to working with children. I’m sorry but they’re the facts.”
Neil Leitch, chief executive at the Pre-school Learning Alliance, said he was shocked and disappointed at her comments.
“No one should feel that their career choices are limited by their gender, and yet such outdated prejudices are not only insulting to those dedicated male practitioners currently working within the sector, but also act as a barrier to more men entering the early years workforce,” he said.
“With the impending introduction of the 30 hours free entitlement offer, staff recruitment is a key challenge for the sector and encouraging more men to consider a career in early years is likely to play an important role in ensuring the long-term sustainability of the early years. It is important, therefore, that such baseless comments do not deter talented and dedicated potential practitioners from embarking on an incredibly rewarding career in the sector.”
Leader of the Lib Dems, Tim Farron also expressed his disappointment, condemning Andrea’s remarks as “stupid, ignorant and not ones any minister should be making”.
“Over the last day Theresa May has shown she is willing to relieve ministers of their duties and she must do so again now,” Tim said.
“It is inconceivable that somebody who holds such offensive, ignorant views should be sat around the cabinet table.”
Andrea was also criticised during her campaign to become the next prime minister for using her motherhood as leverage against fellow candidate Theresa May.