Andrea Leadsom thinks men shouldn't be employed to look after children in case they're a paedophile


New Cabinet minister Andrea Leadsom has warned it would be sensible not to employ a man to look after children in case they are a paedophile.

Leadsom - who was recently appointed Environment Secretary - insisted parents needed to be cautious when dealing with childcare.

In an interview with The Times (which was conducted last week when Leadsom was still a contender for the Tory crown), she said: "As an employer we're not, let's face it, most of us don't employ men as nannies, most of us don't. Now you can call that sexist, I call that cautious and very sensible when you look at the stats.

"Your odds are stacked against you if you employ a man. We know paedophiles are attracted to working with children. I'm sorry but they're the facts."

As you would expect, her controversial comments have caused outrage on Twitter.

This isn't the first time Leadsom has made controversial comments in the paper - it follows the publication of earlier extracts in which she appeared to suggest being a mother made her better placed to be prime minister than May because she had a "very real stake" in the future of Britain.

Leadsom's views on childcare are out of kilter with society, according to a survey conducted by the Pre-School Learning Alliance of 1,200 mothers and fathers cited by the newspaper.

The survey found that 97.9% were happy for men to work with children aged between three and five in day nurseries, and 89% were fine with men working with children under three.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron branded Leadsom's comments "stupid" and "ignorant" and called for her to be sacked.

Labour shadow minister Jon Ashworth said: "This is an extraordinarily offensive statement from the new Environment Secretary. Andrea Leadsom should apologise immediately and the Prime Minister should also distance herself from these comments."