UK & World News

  • 20 January 2014, 16:12

Farage: 'Working Mothers Worth Less Than Men'

Women who work in the City and have children are worth less than men, Nigel Farage has claimed as he addressed the issue of equal pay.

The UKIP leader said that he did not believe there was sexual discrimination in the City because women who were "prepared to sacrifice the family life" could do just as well as men.

Mr Farage, who worked at a brokerage for nearly 20 years before entering politics, said that when he first worked in the City it was a "deeply sexist thing" but that it was no longer the case.

Speaking at a question and answer session on the European Union, Mr Farage admitted he was going to be "controversial" on the issue of equal pay.

He went on to say: "In many cases women make different choices in life to the ones men make, simply for biological reasons.

"A woman who has a client base, has a child and takes two or three years off - she is worth far less to her employer when she comes back than when she went away because that client base won't be stuck as rigidly to her portfolio"

He continued: "I don't believe that in the big banks and brokerage houses and Lloyds of London and everyone else in the City, I do not believe there is any discrimination against women at all.

"I think young, able women that are prepared to sacrifice the family life and stick with their career will do as well if not better than men."

Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman responded to Mr Farage's comments with disbelief.

She told Sky News: "To see a row of men sitting there and one of them saying that women are worth less to their employers than men are and it's because they take time off to look  after children, I think is absolute rubbish.

"There is not a single business or public service in this country which would still have the lights on if women weren't there at work."

Mr Farage also joked about the comments of UKIP Henley-on-Thames councillor David Silvester, who said that the recent storms were God's punishment for the new laws on gay marriage, accusing David Cameron of acting "arrogantly against the Gospel".

"If you accept defectors from the Conservative Party you will always have embarrassments," he said.

However, he went on to say: "Mr Silvester joined us from the Conservatives very recently - he said exactly the same things when he was in the Conservative Party; now he is UKIP you are interested."

Mr Silvester was suspended by UKIP following his comments. Mr Farage has pledge to rid the party of some of its more extreme candidates.

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