Page last updated at 22:49 GMT, Monday, 23 January 2012

Sexism 'inherent' at BBC, Conservative MP claims

Sexism is "inherent" at the BBC, Conservative MP Nadine Dorries has claimed.

Women are underrepresented in several areas of the organisation, she said, adding that it was "shameful" there are no women presenters on Radio 2's daytime schedule.

Only 16% of voices heard on Radio 4's Today Programme, including contributors, are female, Ms Dorries told MPs.

The Mid Bedfordshire MP was leading a debate on gender balance at the BBC and in the broadcasting sector on 23 January 2012.

She argued that the corporation has a duty to female license fee payers, adding: "Why are we women paying for this?"

"The nation's women are far too busy to write letters of complaint to male BBC editors," Ms Dorries said.

Replying for the government, Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said the statistics quoted in the debate were "a cause for concern".

But, he pointed out, women make up 49% of the BBC's total workforce.

The minister concluded by promising he would broker a meeting between Ms Dorries and BBC director-general, Mark Thompson.

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