The culture secretary has told a parliamentary committee that her own children are “lefty snowflakes”.
Nadine Dorries claimed she did not regularly use the insult, and that it was a “general term”.
Asked what a “snowflake lefty” was, the Cabinet minister told MPs on the culture committee: “Probably my kids.”
In a follow-up question she was asked what an “Islington lefty” was and replied: “Again, one of my kids.” Ms Dorries had previously claimed such people were “suppressing free speech”
The culture secretary, who is known for her prolific posting online, used her appearance to criticise a decision by the Brit awards to abolish separate award categories for men and women.
Artists like Sam Smith and Will Young had previously called for the change to be more inclusive to non-binary artists.
The culture secretary said she had not heard of the policy change until she was asked about it at that committee hearing, and so would not comment.
However she quickly appeared to change her mind, branding it “sad” and arguing it would undermine the representation of women.
“I have to say it’s the first I’m aware of it but I think it sounds quite a sad decision. I would like to see how that would work in terms of fair gender representation,” she said.
“Again, I can’t give an opinion on that because hearing it from you is the first I’ve heard of it. Women have been used for a very long time to being… if you wanted to look at who used to win awards for novels and many things in the past, men have always dominated.
“My concern would be that women weren’t fairly represented moving forward. I would just be concerned on the gender balance issue.
“Whereas we’re going to get best female artist, best female producer, I’d be concerned that in the future women won’t be fairly represented in those awards.”
Throughout the hearing Ms Dorries repeatedly charged her critics with being motivated by misogyny. She claimed that those in the arts sector who had expressed concern at her appointment were “wholly male” and “all from the left”.