Equality minister Barbara Follett has lifted the lid on diversity scams in the House of Commons.
There are only 125 women in Parliament, compared with 520 men, but both major parties covered this up by thrusting female MPs into the public eye, she said.
“We ‘doughnut’ our women around our main speakers to make it look better,” she told delegates.
Follett was speaking about the need for the Equality Bill to include measures to make organisations more transparent about the make up of their workforce.
She also said that when she was looking after her grandchild recently at the House of Commons, a male MP asked her: “Haven’t you got someone to look after that?”
In an impassioned and controversial speech, she also called on British workers to “skill yourself up and get up a bit earlier”, rather than moaning about migrants taking their jobs.
Follett then turned her attention on women taking control of their pensions, saying all too often they let men control the finances.
“The government pension is not going to give you enough money,” she admitted. “You have a responsibility to look at it.”
Follett said she was not at all irked to be referred to as a Blair Babe. “I was 54 when we came to power – I thought, wow, a babe still.”