Boris Johnson’s women problem

Boris Johnson’s women problem
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Today, Boris Johnson was grilled by MPs on the Liaison committee, which is made up of select committee chairs. The Prime Minister was asked about a range of topics in the marathon session, including about his adviser Dominic Cummings’s trip to Durham during lockdown.

But while the Prime Minister seemed to survive arguably the trickiest part of the session involving Cummings – after MPs mainly used the opportunity to grandstand, rather than ask probing questions – Boris seemed to struggle when asked about female participation in his top team.

Former Home Office minister Caroline Nokes began by asking the Prime Minister about his comment that ‘enough’ women were involved in the decision-making process during the coronavirus crisis. The PM clarified that he’d actually said there were ‘a lot’ of women at the top of government – an answer that did not appear to satisfy Nokes, who then quizzed the Prime Minister on ‘how many is enough’ women?

The PM appeared stumped at this point, replying: ‘Oh boy… that’s a question on which I’m not confident to pronounce’. Only to be told by a smirking Liaison Committee chair, Bernard Jenkin, that this ‘was not a laughing matter’.

The somewhat bizarre interaction ended with Nokes suggesting that 50 per cent representation would be enough, and the PM arguing that she would end up being Britain’s third female prime minister.

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Written bySteerpike

Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to

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