27/09/2019 15:49 BST | Updated 27/09/2019 16:48 BST

Mary Beard Sums Up An Extraordinary Week Of Politics: 'MPs Behave Like Little Boys Who Need Their Bottoms Spanked'

"But not by me..." she was quick to add.

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Professor Mary Beard made the comments at a Women in Power event on Thursday 

Following an extraordinary week in politics, Professor Mary Beard has suggested members of the cabinet “behave like little boys who need their bottoms spanked.”

The historian was speaking at Women in Power event on Thursday hosted by Intelligence Squared, alongside Labour MP Rachel Reeves, Baroness Verma, a Tory peer, and writer Helen Lewis, when she made her comments.

When Lewis ventured that “some of them may like that, Mary…” Prof Beard was quick to retort “not from me, sunshine.”

Her comments follow Boris Johnson’s controversial decision to prorogue parliament as being declared unlawful, Attorney General Geoffrey Cox calling parliament “dead” as MPs refused to agree a Brexit deal or trigger a general election and the prime minister dismissing concerns about MPs’ safety as “humbug.”

Prof Beard, who was made a dame in the Queen’s Birthday honours last year, also mused upon the phrase “wielding power.”

“What else do you ‘wield’?” she asked.

“A sword… I’m not going into battle. What you saw in parliament, is guys might as well have got a sword in their hands, because that’s what they’re doing with their words and their willies really…”

Prof Beard, who was awarded an OBE in the 2013 New Year Honours, is often described as Britain’s best-known classicist for her regular appearances in the media.

It was her time as an undergraduate at Cambridge University which sparked the feminist views that she holds dear.

Prof Beard completed her PhD in 1982 and became the only female lecturer in Newnham College’s Classics faculty.

In 2004 she became Professor of Classics at Cambridge and launched her TV career in 2010, when she presented Pompeii: Life And Death In A Roman Town, on BBC Two.

She has gone on to write a number of documentaries on the subject as well as appear on Question Time.

The author of almost twenty books, she also writes the A Don’s Life blog for the Times Literary Supplement.