Former Hastings and Rye MP Amber Rudd has been pretty quiet since leaving parliament in 2019 but she’s making a splash in the ‘papers today as she takes aim at the man she once said was “not the man you want driving you home at the end of the evening”.
Ms Rudd has called into question Boris Johnson’s treatment of women, suggesting that he has was she descibes as: “A sort of language which he is – quite rightly – nervous of using in front of women”.
She tells the Guardian: “Boris Johnson is emblematic of a ‘boys’ club’ approach to the House of Commons which makes it harder for women to win promotion”
Asked why she stepped down, the woman who was MP for Hastings and Rye for almost a decade and was an ardent remainer, cited the prorogation of Parliament the month before she left the Cabinet in September 2019 as the ‘tipping point’.
She says: “Everybody knew that this prorogation was taking place to try and avoid a vote in Parliament to stop the Prime Minister being able to leave (the EU) without a deal on October 31st. It made me uncomfortable that it wasn’t presented that way. There was a pattern of those sort of things.”
She goes on: “It was Boris Johnson’s style of government, really, it was the way he treated other people and his determination to deliver Brexit, whatever the cost in terms of the economy and, I thought, the consequences to people’s lives.”
Decrying the ‘boys club’ behaviour in Parliament she says: “It is still more like a public school or a university club than anywhere else you’ll ever go, I fear that it’s going backwards a bit at the moment.
“Unless you have the leadership really making an effort to ensure that women are promoted as equals, all the time – not just because, oh, let’s promote the women, we forgot about the women – it’s going to be a problem.
“I see that in Boris Johnson, I’m afraid. Even though I don’t dislike him at all. He’s come from that establishment group.”
When he became Prime Minister in July 2019, Mr Johnson’s Cabinet was made up of 21 per cent women, up from the 17 per cent who served under Theresa May. In 2015, women made up 25 per cent of David Cameron’s Cabinet.