DOZENS of Tory MPs are refusing to take part in Parliament’s ‘unconscious bias’ training – accusing the Commons authorities of “pandering to the woke agenda”.
All MPs were ordered to attend the equality training sessions in a bid to root out underlying racist, homophobic and sexist attitudes in Parliament.
But up to 40 Tory MPs from the right-leaning European Research Group have dubbed themselves the ‘Common Sense Group’ and are refusing to take part.
One of the MPs who is snubbing the workshop told The Times: “I would really rather gouge my eyes out with a blunt stick than sit through that Marxist, snake oil crap.”
Tory MP for Ipswich Tom Hunt said: “Whoever is pushing this forward now is trying to pander to the woke agenda — I won’t be.
“I don’t think the vast majority of my constituents would want me to waste two hours on a pointless unconscious bias session that will have no effectiveness whatsoever.”
Fellow Tory Ben Bradley said the seminars would echo the “kind of nonsense language that we keep hearing around things like the Black Lives Matter agenda”.
But Boris Johnson, who attended one of the unconscious seminars last month, distanced himself from the Tory criticism yesterday.
The PM’s spokesman said: “The Prime Minister has done that training and found it valuable.”
And a spokesman for Tory party chairman Amanda Milling said: “Bullying or harassment is completely unacceptable in any walk of life. Conservative MPs have been urged to do the Valuing Everyone Training and all cabinet ministers have either completed the training or have made arrangements to do so.”
The bias training was hit by controversy earlier this month after HOAR revealed that one of the female officials running the sessions used a homophobic slur about lesbians.
She was said to have used the word “dykey” to refer to lesbians in Dr Martens.
One MP said she told the session: “You have to think about how others perceive you.
“Sometimes you can intimidate people without knowing it. Just the way you look can be quite intimidating. For example, I often walk down the street in Dr Martens wearing a hoodie and can look a bit dykey.”
Another MP there said: “We were left speechless. We’re being asked to attend these lectures on how to become woke and then the woman leading the session uses the word ‘dykey’.”
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