UK

JK Rowling Calls Out Nigel Farage's 'Safety Of British Women' Comment In Twitter Post

20/01/2016 12:13 GMT | Updated 20/01/2016 15:59 GMT

JK Rowling has challenged Nigel Farage after the Ukip leader claimed that leaving the European Union would further the fight for "the safety and security of British women".

The Harry Potter author made the remarks in a reply to the Ukip official account on Twitter, which had taken a quote from Farage's latest speech on the EU referendum.

Farage, 51, was speaking out at a European Council meeting and used the New Year attacks on women in Cologne as an example of the dangers of staying in the Union, telling listeners to "woman up".

"After Cologne, the EU referendum is about nothing less than the safety and security of British women. We, the euro clueless, need to woman up and vote for the right of our daughters and granddaughters to live as they choose and to smile in the street. No more Mrs don't know, let's get the hell out," he said.

To which Rowling, 50, responded:

Ukip has found itself caught in a number of controversies around women's rights in the past, and Farage himself has been criticised for statements on the role of women in the workplace.

The politician once claimed that "working mothers are worth less than men", when trying to explain the gender pay gap, arguing that women who have children are worth less than men that work "in the City".

Farage also said that he did not believe there was sexual discrimination "in the City" because women who were "prepared to sacrifice the family life" could do just as well as men.

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The party itself does not have a shining record on the issue either.

In former Ukip MEP Godfrey Bloom called women "sluts" at an event to promote the advancement of women in politics.

It occurred after two senior female Ukip members joked that they did not clean behind the fridge, as Bloom said it was where women belonged, he joyfully shouted: "This place is full of sluts."

Confronted by journalists outside the event, Bloom defended his comment as "a joke", and insisted all the women at the event had taken it in good humour.

"I made a joke and said 'oh well you're all sluts' and everybody laughed and all the women laughed," he said. "Was there a single women in there who didn't laugh at the joke?," he asked.

Back in 2008, Ukip MEP Patrick O�Flynn, said that pregnant women in the workplace are a �disaster�, in an article with the headline: "How equality laws are harming those they are meant to protect".

"For a woman to become pregnant is great news for her but, in general, it is a major disadvantage for her employer and work colleagues,

"In the current business climate this is a difficult enough strain for large employers. For small ones it is a disaster," he wrote in the Daily Express.

The 76-page Ukip election manifesto from 2015 mentions the word "women" six times.

One of the mentions was to speak out against coalition plans to raise the retirement age of women to 66 by 2020 and to 67 by 2028.

"It has been especially tough for women, who until 2010 could retire at 60," it read.