Philip Davies accused of "mansplaining" during International Men's Day debate

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A Tory has been accused of "mansplaining" after he became embroiled in a row with a female MP during a controversial Commons debate to mark International Men's Day.

Philip Davies accused the SNP's justice spokeswoman Joanna Cherry of failing to prepare for the debate after she questioned his claims that fathers were wrongly being denied access to their children.

(Parliamentlive/PA)
Joanna Cherry (Parliamentlive/PA)

It came after Davies accused "politically motivated people" of wanting to conduct "a war on gender".

During the debate Cherry, a QC who has taught law at the University of Edinburgh, challenged Davies over if he was aware of any "empirical research which shows that the legal system in either Scotland or England is biased against fathers, because I'm not".

But Davies hit back at the comments and accused her of "trying to pretend there isn't an issue".

He added: "I urge you to read the House of Commons Library briefing, which you clearly haven't read. So perhaps you might do us the courtesy of reading it before."

And he accused Cherry of having "nothing to say about actually looking after the interests of fathers, the rights of men, but trying to make this some kind of gender bashing exercise which does her no credit whatsoever.

(Parliamentlive/PA)
Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh (Parliamentlive/PA)

"And if she doesn't think that fathers have a problem getting access to their children, sometimes unfairly, if that's her contention, all I can suggest is she gets out more."

His remarks prompted shouts of "outrageous" and jeers from the SNP benches.

The SNP frontbencher Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh defended Cherry as she accused Davies of "mansplaining".

She said: "As women parliamentarians we often face mansplaining, a term that I have spoken of before, evidenced again by the exchange between the honourable member for Shipley and my honourable and learned friend the member for Edinburgh South West when it was suggested that she hadn't read her brief.

"Anyone that sits in this chamber will know my honourable friend is perhaps the most briefed person that sits in this chamber and should be respected for being so."