Tory MP defends involvement in men’s rights conference

Tory MP defends involvement in men’s rights conference

Conservative MP Philip Davies has defended the decision to speak at a men's rights conference.

Friday, April 26, 2019

A Conservative MP has defended his decision to speak at a men's rights conference in the US on the same platform as a string of controversial figures.

Philip Davies said he intends to raise issues such as male suicide, boys' performance in school and the treatment of fathers in family break-ups at the Chicago conference in August.

Other speakers listed for the International Conference On Men's Issues include UKIP MEP candidates Carl Benjamin and Mark Meechan - who taught his girlfriend's dog to perform a Nazi salute - as well as Paul Elam, leader of the US group A Voice For Men.

Mr Elam's group, which once announced an "Annual Bash a Violent B*tch Month", has been branded a misogynist by US campaigners.

And Mr Benjamin refused to apologise for once tweeting "I wouldn't even rape you" to Labour MP Jess Phillips, and once made a video blaming feminism for damaging male mental health.

Confirming his plans to speak at the conference, Mr Davies told the Press Association it was "nonsense" to suggest that his presence amounted to an endorsement of the other participants' opinions.

"I'm responsible for what I say and what I believe in. I'm not there to defend what anyone else thinks or says," he said. "I've never heard of many of these people and I'm not responsible for their views."

He added: "If the Labour Party asked me to speak at their conference on these issues, I would go. You wouldn't take that as an endorsement of the Labour Party."

Asked what issues he aimed to raise at the conference, the MP for Shipley said: "There are some rather important issues that relate to men, like the high level of male suicides, poor performance of boys at school, and parental alienation.

"Is no-one allowed to speak about these things lest some nutter happens to also be at the same event?"

On the conference website, Mr Davies is described as "a highly regarded advocate for men's issues, the only such MP among 650 in the House of Commons", who "gained international notoriety" by securing a debate on men's issues on International Men's Day.

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