Female lobby journalists are “predators” who trick “poor old ugly” MPs in order to get stories, it has been claimed.
Michael White, the former political editor of the Guardian, faces calls to apologise after making the remarks on BBC Radio 4′s Media Show.
It comes as allegations that male MPs sexually harassed people, including two female lobby journalists, continue to swirl.
White said: “The power doesn’t all lie on one side. Clever, attractive young women looking for stories, they can play the power game to poor old ugly backbenchers.”
When asked if he meant that the female journalists were therefore to blame, he added: “I didn’t say [it was their] fault, I said they were the predators – of course.”
Tom Newton Dunn, political editor of The Sun, called on him to apologise.
So, according to @michaelwhite, as a female lobby journalist I am a “predator” who tricks “poor old ugly backbenchers” to get stories …
As if it’s not hard enough to be taken seriously as a woman working in politics without senior male journalists saying this stuff. Furious.
Unbelievably ex-Gdn pol ed @michaelwhite calls female journalists “predators” looking for stories in light of Fallon and Green revelations
Then asked of it was the fault of the journalists, he replied: “No, I’m not saying it’s their fault – they are the predators.” Shocking.
Astonishing dinosaur @michaelwhite on the #MediaShow calls women making the allegations “predators.” What an utterly vile thing to believe.
What an odeous out of touch dinosaur @michaelwhite is. Time to clear out the cosy relationships between parliament and press. @BBCRadio4
Michael White may want to apologise for this post-lunch outburst on R4’s Media Show this afternoon. Utterly wrong about female lobby hacks. pic.twitter.com/9tXewpPrP5
November 1, 2017
White also appeared to defend MPs, adding: “This is a societal issue and MPs are representatives – that’s why they’re elected.
“And they represent the voters’ dirty habits as well as their good ones I’m afraid.
“It’s very unattractive but we live in but we live in a highly sexualised society.”
He also said Julia Hartley Brewer, who said “I am not a victim” when asked about Defence Secretary Michael Fallon touching her knee in the past, was right to say as much because she is “very tough”.
He said: “She’s certainly not, she’s a very tough woman and she’s younger, stronger and probably taller than Michael Fallon.
“The idea that Hartley Brewer is going to be victimised by Fallon and a lot of these pretty pathetic guys, some of them, is not quite as cut and dried as it is being presented in the newspapers.”