A SENIOR Labour MP sparked uproar last night by suggesting Theresa May doesn’t fully understand the problem of child sexual abuse because she is not a mum.
In an interview with Parliament’s The House magazine, former Shadow Minister Sarah Champion said David Cameron “got it” as an issue because he was “a dad”.
The Rotherham MP and former shadow equalities minister said she didn’t feel tackling abuse was a “priority” for the Government “at all”.
She told the magazine: “David Cameron got it and I think he got it because I went to him as a dad rather than going to him as a politician.
“And I got him to meet some of the survivors of Rotherham and one of the mums whose child went through it.
“So, we engaged with him on that level, which is why he then crusaded as a dad, wanting it for other people’s children.
“Theresa May was great when she was Home Secretary and then as soon as she shifted to PM it’s dropped off the radar. It’s clearly not a priority for them. It’s someone else’s problem.”
But Ms Champion’s comments were blasted by female Tories last night who demanded she say sorry for smearing the PM.
Tory vice chair Helen Grant hit out: “This is an outrageous slur. From tackling the scourge of female genital mutilation to modern slavery and domestic violence, the PM has been at the forefront of driving efforts to crack down on abuse in all its forms.
“Sarah Champion must apologise immediately and unreservedly for these disgraceful comments.”
Fellow party vice chair Maria Caulfield added: “Only a few months ago the Government announced the delivery of a £40 million package of government measures to protect children and young people from sexual abuse, exploitation and trafficking, and to crack down on offenders.
“In contrast Jeremy Corbyn forced Sarah Champion as a shadow minister to resign when she spoke out on the sexual exploitation of girls.
“Perhaps Sarah needs to get her own party in order before criticising the proven track record of the PM.”
In the same interview Ms Champion also claimed there was “no way” some sitting MPs or members of their family weren’t involved with either sexual abuse or an inappropriate situation.
And she said female genital mutilation or FGM must be viewed as child abuse and not a “cultural practice”.
Mark Garnier, Conservative MP for Wyre Forest, said: "It is a pretty low blow to be honest. I don't think you need to be a mother to know that child abuse is a bad thing. And Theresa May has worked extraordinarily hard for quality over many many years and I think that includes protecting children.
"It’s absolutely wrong. Protecting people from child abuse is incredibly important, it’s a really odd thing to say.
"My experience is that she is absolutely bang on the money with this, I see no evidence that she is any less interested in equality opportunities… including child abuse, and any other type of abuse. That's not off the radar. "
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