We're told that Cameron is man of modern sensibilities. The Tory media machine tells us he understands that racism, sexism and homophobia are more than just a bit of harmless fun. It's hard not to believe it's true when you see his lovely soft haircut and elegant frowns of concern at all the right moments.
However, it looks like the Tories still have a little way to go in purging sexism from their ranks. It seems that while queuing at the Parliamentary canteen Sir Nicholas Winterton slapped Natascha Engel MP's bottom.
When later questioned about the incident Winterton replied that "I have a friendly relationship with most members of the House, male and female. Can I remember this incident? No. Can I categorically deny it? The answer is no. I'm quite a normal person."
Oddly, I believe him. Not the last bit about being normal obviously, but I suspect he doesn't remember whether or not he slapped the Labour MP's bum because it's so common place for him to do that sort of thing that it doesn't stick in his memory. Of course, Sir Nicholas said he DID remember queuing to buy soup and a doughnut, but then who doesn't remember each and every doughnut they've eaten. I certainly do.
He told the Telegraph that he might have slapped Engel but that any such gesture would have been out of "affection and regard". Hmmmm. Like for an old horse you're sending to the knackers yard, or a serving girl who's been in the family for decades.
While this is a small incident in many ways I do wonder how many women Tory MP's bums he'd slapped before turning to the Labour ranks. No wonder they have so few female MPs if this is an example 0f the way they treat their female political representatives let alone their less exalted activists. Further reading