Tory MP calls for a dedicated 'minister for men'

Tory MP calls for a dedicated ‘minister for men’ who would campaign for more male teachers and combat online misogynists like Andrew Tate – and insists that it wouldn’t take away from fighting for equality for women as ‘we can do two things at once’

  •  Nick Fletcher says that the role would help improve life chances for young men

Men are being failed by society and need a minister dedicated to championing their causes, a Tory MP said yesterday.

Nick Fletcher said the role would deal with specific health problems men face and try to improve their life chances.

He suggested the minister, mirroring the existing Cabinet role for women, would campaign for more male primary teachers to provide role models for boys who do not have a father at home.

Other priorities could include encouraging boys to pursue careers such as nursing, improving paternity leave and tackling the influence of misogynists on social media such as Andrew Tate.

Asked on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour why the position was necessary, Mr Fletcher said: ‘If men are living a better, happier, healthier life then it is better for women too, and it’s better for society as a whole.

The MP for Don Valley, Nick Fletcher, has made the case for a dedicated ‘minister for men’ to champion their causes

‘When I became a member of parliament, it was one of the things that I wanted to jump on. I’m from Doncaster and I see an awful lot of young boys and young men out there with little aspiration and lives not given the best opportunities.

‘They tend to be neglected by people within authority and also government as a whole. We need to be addressing this.’

He highlighted statistics that show 75 per cent of those who take their own lives are men, life expectancy is 3.7 years lower for them than women, and that 83 per cent of rough sleepers are male as are 96 per cent of the prison population.

‘If that was the other way around there would be a complete outcry,’ he said of the jail figures. ‘We need to do something about it. We are failing our young boys, we are failing our young men, we are failing society and we’re failing women and girls too.’

He insisted he did not believe the needs of boys and men were greater than those of girls and women: ‘Obviously over the last century we’ve worked hard with equality to put women at the table along with men which is super important. But we can do two things at once.

‘Especially in the last ten to 15 years we are neglecting our young boys and young men who are coming through.’

Mr Fletcher appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Women’s Hour arguing that the role would help men live a healthy and fulfilling life and be a ‘good part of society’

Mr Fletcher pointed out there was a women’s health strategy and a hospital for women, but nothing comparable for men even though 88 die of heart disease every day.

He told Woman’s Hour: ‘It’s fantastic that we’ve got a cabinet member for women and inequality. We’ve also got a junior minister too who looks after women. We just need the same for men too.

‘Most of your listeners out there have got a man in their life and they want their son, their father, their husband, their brother, to do well, to have a healthy life and to have a fulfilling life and be a good part of society.’

Mr Fletcher, Conservative MP for Don Valley since 2019, said only one in seven primary teachers was male and one in three primary schools had none. He said: ‘If you’ve got a young boy at home who’s father’s not around, and then at school there’s no male teachers at all, it’s very difficult for him to find his way.’

Asked about a quota of male teachers, he said a minister for men would raise this issue.

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