In the Commons, MPs were marking International Men’s Day – an occasion, said Philip Davies (Con, Shipley), to “celebrate the contribution that men make” and “highlight the discrimination and inequalities that men and boys face”. One of his colleagues, Sir Paul Beresford (Con, Mole Valley), said an area of particular inequality was health.

Men, he noted, were more likely than women to suffer from heart disease, strokes and obesity. On average they died younger than women, too. “I think about this,” he said, “every time I struggle to open a door for a lady.”

Watch out, men. Chivalry can kill.

Mr Davies, the MP who organised today’s debate, has long been recognised for his passionate views on gender equality. Men and women could be equal, he has said, if only it weren’t for “feminist zealots”, and “the politically correct males” who “pander to this nonsense”. At a conference in August for men’s rights activists, he complained that while “we hear plenty about increasing the numbers of women on company boards and female representation in Parliament”, there is “a deafening silence” when it comes to “the number of men who have careers as midwives”.

In today’s debate, he complained about what he called “the part-time gender pay gap”. On average, he said, women in part-time jobs were paid six per cent more than men were – “an issue I’ve never heard mentioned before”.

To read the article you need to register for a free account which entitles you to ONE article per week.

Or if really don’t want to register you can use my throwaway account

login: kmarie@gt.rr.com password:penguin1