Female lobby journalists are “predators” who trick “poor old ugly” MPs in order to get stories, it has been claimed.
Michael White, the former political editor of the Guardian, faces calls to apologise after making the remarks on BBC Radio 4′s Media Show.
It comes as allegations that male MPs sexually harassed people, including two female lobby journalists, continue to swirl.
White said: “The power doesn’t all lie on one side. Clever, attractive young women looking for stories, they can play the power game to poor old ugly backbenchers.”
When asked if he meant that the female journalists were therefore to blame, he added: “I didn’t say [it was their] fault, I said they were the predators - of course.”
His words have angered female journalists while some on Twitter branded White a “dinosaur”.
Tom Newton Dunn, political editor of The Sun, called on him to apologise.
White also appeared to defend MPs, adding: “This is a societal issue and MPs are representatives - that’s why they’re elected.
“And they represent the voters’ dirty habits as well as their good ones I’m afraid.
“It’s very unattractive but we live in but we live in a highly sexualised society.”
He also said Julia Hartley Brewer, who said “I am not a victim” when asked about Defence Secretary Michael Fallon touching her knee in the past, was right to say as much because she is “very tough”.
He said: “She’s certainly not, she’s a very tough woman and she’s younger, stronger and probably taller than Michael Fallon.
“The idea that Hartley Brewer is going to be victimised by Fallon and a lot of these pretty pathetic guys, some of them, is not quite as cut and dried as it is being presented in the newspapers.”