The Tories have too many “pretend socialists” who were made MPs “simply because of” their gender or race, MP Philip Davies has said.
The Eurosceptic Tory also hit out at “politically correct stooges” in his party and claimed “true equality” would only become a reality “when we don’t think about somebody’s sex or their or race or their sexuality”.
Speaking at a fringe event at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester, the Shipley MP also blamed “flaky” parliamentarians for the current political crisis engulfing the UK.
Davies is well known for his anti-feminist views and drew widespread anger in the Commons when he blocked legislation in the Commons that would see schoolchildren taught about LGBT relationships.
He told Tory activists on Monday he “couldn’t care less how many female MPs there are in parliament or the sex of our prime minister”, adding: “I want to see more Conservatives in parliament [...] with sound conservative principles, not flaky, would-be pretend socialists or politically-correct stooges chosen simply because of their gender or because of the colour of their skin.
“If we had more actual conservatives in the House of Commons, the country wouldn’t be in the mess it is at the moment.”
Among the three Conservative MPs to defect to the Lib Dems in recent months was black former minister Sam Gyimah.
Davies also claimed that “political correctness is a form of political control” used by left-wingers and “Conservatives must fight it with all our might”.
“I think we will only have true equality when we don’t think about somebody’s sex or their or race or their sexuality or anything else for that matter,” he said.
The 2017 general election delivered the most diverse parliament ever, with a rise in the number of women, LGBT and ethnic minority MPs.
Just 32% of MPs in the Commons are female, but the Davies’ party has a lower proportion; Labour’s figure is 45% while the Conservatives’ is 21%.
Of a possible 650 MPs, there are 52 from a black and minority ethnic (BAME) background; 32 are Labour, 19 Conservatives and one Lib Dem.
Boris Johnson, who took over after Theresa May was effectively ousted by Eurosceptics, is attempting to renegotiate a Brexit deal with Brussels.
May’s deal was three times voted down when members of the backbench Tory faction the European Research Group, of which Davies is a member, joined with the DUP to rebel.