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Roger Gale MP accused of sexism after referring to his female staff

first_imgRoger Gale MP has inadvertently caused a sexism row by referring to female staff in his office as “girls”.He trended on Twitter as people expressed their outrage while listening to the Radio 4 Today programme.The Thanet North MP was defending hiring family members as he made the controversial comment.People on Twitter spoke of how angered they were, saying he was a “misogynist”, that it was a throwback to the 1960’s, and one listener even said she was hoarse from yelling about it.One angered listener tweeted: “Can someone tell Roger Gale that his employees are #women not #girls #hopefully”.Another raged: “Repellant and arrogant Roger Gale MP referring 2 his female staff as “girls” on @BBCRadio4 #r4today & justifying nepotism by comparing w BBC”. Sir Roger Gale MP, I don’t care if you employ your well qualified wife but calling your office staff ‘girls’ is downright offensive #r4today— Karen Wespieser (@KarenWespieser) March 16, 2017 “Do people not have anything more important to worry about than this?!”Roger Gale told BBC 5 Live that working with his wife nearly broke their marriage.He told Emma Barnett:: “It brought us to the point at one stage where it nearly broke our marriage. And the reason it did is because I was overworking Suzy.”I got up one night, in the middle of the night and saw the office light shining on the lawn at 3 o clock in the morning. I went downstairs and Suzy was in tears. I said ‘What the hell are you doing here?'”She said ‘I’ve got to get this work done’. She looked at me sadly and said ‘I’m sorry Roger I just think of you as a source of work.’ I realised that things were going very badly wrong and we made changes.”Suzy added: “We came through it. The work is relentless, it is 24 hours a day and I was doing it all on my own.”She also added she had never faced any complaints for working with her husband, and that she was qualified for the job.The couple firmly believe that, if they hadn’t been able to employ a family member, the pressure would have meant that Sir Roger would not have been able to continue as an MP for as long as he has done. Con MP Roger Gale on @BBCr4today must stop calling women working in his office ‘girls’. He’s either employing underage staff or needs advice— Charlie Lee-Potter (@cleepotter) March 16, 2017 Roger Gale employs “girls” at the taxpayers’ expense. Can he not find any grown ups? #r4today— charliesnow (@CharlieSnow) March 16, 2017 The benefits of employing a spouse are “enormous”, said Sir Roger. “Obviously, I trust her implicitly, she knows what I think and why I think it and constituents can call on her whenever I’m not around.”She probably does 60 to 70 hours work a week, including most of Saturday, and I can call on her any time day or night. I couldn’t do that with an assistant recruited through an advert.”Sir Roger Gale’s wife, Suzy, told The Telegraph that the critics could be correct, but her husband doesn’t mean anything by it, often treats those who work in the office to buns – and staff don’t mind being referred to as “girls”.She said: “Possibly you are right, I am 70, but we have always been referred to “the girls” and we really do like it.  Roger treats the office staff to buns on a regular basis, and we also like that!”We are a  very  happy and dedicated working team I can assure you.    “Sir Roger Gale referring to the women in his office as “girls” – why no challenge to this inappropriate and sexist term?” asked one listener. #r4today Roger Gale’s praise of his wife and his ‘team of girls’ did not do him favours and gave me a sore throat yelling! Pompous.— Cecilia Farren (@CeciliaFarren) March 16, 2017 Highly irritated by @Conservatives MP Sir Roger Gale referring to women working in his office as ‘girls’ on @BBCRadio4 this morning— Georgia Evans (@gmayevans) March 16, 2017 And another said: “Roger Gale on #r4today really has shown the worst of politics this morning. A frightening combination of sexism, ignorance and nepotism”. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Roger Gale said: “I want people who follow me into the House of Commons to continue working with their husbands or wives and I think that anything else would not be progress.”It would be a very retrograde step and it would be very bad for Parliament and therefore bad for the public.” Whoa. On BBC Radio 4, MP Sir Roger Gale refers to the women who work in his constituency office as “the girls.” What is this, the 1960s?— Lisa Fleisher (@lisafleisher) March 16, 2017 Mr Gale has previously sung the praises of his wife, who has worked in his office since 1983.”It will be incredibly damaging if we go down this route,” Sir Roger told the Press Association. “Superficially, this is an easy hit for anybody wanting to show they are doing something. Actually, it is crass and they will live to regret it – and so will the House and its MPs.”last_img read more