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Tory leader`s `attractive` woman MP comment causes furore

Last Updated: Saturday, August 22, 2009 - 16:19

London: A veteran Tory leader has said he may consider a woman candidate to replace an outgoing MP if she was "attractive", drawing flak within and outside his party with a minister calling it "deeply offensive" and "highly inappropriate".
Alan Scard, the chairman of Conservative association in Gasport, in an interview to Channel 4 said he would select women candidates, "if they are attractive", the Telegraph reported.

Scard, a father of three added, "I know it`s a sexist thing to say but you could get the blokes saying, `Oh you know I would vote for her because she`s really attractive`."

His comments are likely to infuriate conservative leader David Cameron striving to revamp the party`s traditional male image before elections next year.

Scard is incharge of selecting a Tory to run in Gosport, replacing the sitting party MP who will quit following a scandal for claiming huge expenses for a `duck house`.

Scard, 63, apologised later, "I said that tongue in cheek. It was meant as a joke. That`s my sense of humour and I said at the time that it will get me into trouble."

"These comments which are deeply offensive and hugely patronising to women are exactly the type of Tory attitude David Cameron claims to have got rid of," Cabinet Office minister Tessa Jowell said.

A Tory party spokesman said, "These remarks were inappropriate and unacceptable, and Alan Scard has rightly apologised."

Bureau Report

First Published: Saturday, August 22, 2009 - 16:19
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