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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 July, 2004, 05:06 GMT 06:06 UK
A woman's place? Cleaning the fridge
Godfrey Bloom
Godfrey Bloom: 'I am going to promote men's rights'
Godfrey Bloom has cultivated a reputation as a plain-speaking Yorkshireman. But his blunt manner may have got the newly-elected UKIP MEP into hot water.

He believes no sane businessman would employ a woman of child-bearing age. And he believes that women don't clean enough behind the fridge.

And he's just been appointed to the European Parliament's women's rights committee.

  • This morning, Breakfast wants to know what you think of Godfrey Bloom's views: is he a dinosaur - or just telling it like it is?

    Further details from BBC News Online's political specialists

    Mr Bloom told the media: "No self-respecting small businessman with a brain in the right place would ever employ a lady of child-bearing age."

    A range of fellow politicians were outraged, saying his views were terrifying and outrageous.

    Mr Bloom, an investment fund manager from York, told journalists he wanted to deal with women's issues because: "I just don't think they clean behind the fridge enough".

    "I am here to represent Yorkshire women who always have dinner on the table when you get home. I am going to promote men's rights," he added.

    The comments provoked a strong reaction from Labour Euro MP Glenys Kinnock, who said: "We know UKIP are Neanderthal in their attitudes, but it is absolutely terrifying that Mr Bloom can fly in the face of what we have worked and fought for, to establish equal opportunities and rights for women."

    'UKIP time machine'

    She said she will be keeping an eye on him: "He cannot strut around here saying things like that."

    Liberal Democrat MEP leader Chris Davies said: "It looks like it is time for a ride back to the 1950s on the UKIP time machine, to the golden age of women's rights and opportunities.

    EUROSCEPTICS IN STRASBOURG
    1 UK Independence Party - 11
    2 June Movement (Denmark) - 1
    3 Christian Union (Holland) - 2
    4 Movement for France - 3
    5 June List (Sweden) - 3
    6 League of Polish Families - 10
    7 Independent (Ireland) - 1
    8 Civic Democrats (Czech) - 1
    9 Achilles Association (Greece)-1

  • Independence and Democracy (ID) is a new parliamentary group of hardline Eurosceptics
  • It rejects the EU constitution and the "centralisation of Europe"
  • It says it opposes xenophobia, anti-Semitism, and discrimination
  • "UKIP look set to prove themselves as a recruiting sergeant for the pro-European cause and all the measures taken by the European Union to promote equal opportunities."

    Mr Bloom is one of 11 UKIP MEPs - a massive increase from the three MEPs the party had in the last European Parliament.

    They joined 730 others from 25 nations at the parliamentary building in Strasbourg on the first day of this five-year parliament.

    UKIP aim to bring "Britain back from Brussels" and ultimately want the UK to pull out of the EU altogether.

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    SEE ALSO:
    UKIP takes up its European seats
    20 Jul 04  |  Politics
    UKIP seeks more Euro seats
    12 May 04  |  Politics
    UKIP makes big gains in Euro poll
    14 Jun 04  |  Politics
    UKIP suspends fraud trial Euro MP
    16 Jul 04  |  Politics


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