Labour will combat ‘generation of misogynists’ with school programmes on sexism

The Labour Party will stamp out the “rising tide” of sexism by tackling the issue in schools, according to shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson.

Ms Phillipson told the Daily Mail that, without urgent action, a “generation of misogynists” will one day take hold.

“I want to make sure that we have a generation of boys and young men who grow up respecting women rather than the growing levels of misogyny we are seeing at the moment,” she said.

Ms Phillipson said the best way to address the issue is to involve boys and men in finding the solution.

“We’ve seen some great work that has been under way about making sure that young men have peer-to-peer mentoring so that young men can support one another in challenging unacceptable attitudes towards women,” she said.

“I believe it is really important that young people have the critical thinking skills to be able to look at what is in front of them and make an assessment of that, which is where schools have to come in.”

Ms Phillipson also expressed her concerns about the rise of controversial influencers like Andrew Tate, who is the self-styled “king of toxic masculinity”.

Mr Tate, who shows off a flashy, lavish lifestyle online and has millions of followers, is “influencing the behaviour and actions of young people within their schools”, Ms Phillipson said.

He is currently awaiting trial in Romania on charges of human trafficking, rape and forming a criminal gang to sexually exploit women.

He is also facing a civil lawsuit by four British women in the United Kingdom who allege Mr Tate sexually and physically assaulted them, which they had reported him to British authorities in 2014 and 2015.

Bridget Phillipson looks of camera as she conducts an interview with journalists in Westminster
Bridget Phillipson warned that a ‘generation of misogynists’ could emerge (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

The Crown Prosecution Service decided in 2019 not to prosecute him, hence the civil case against him.

In a third and separate case, Andrew Tate and his brother Tristan appeared at the Bucharest Court of Appeal earlier this year after British authorities issued arrest warrants regarding allegations of sexual aggression in 2012-2015 in the UK.

Ms Phillipson told the Daily Mail that misogynistic behaviour is already an issue in some schools, which makes it a crucial focal point to address the issue.

“I am really worried about reports I hear both from young women in schools about the harassment and abuse they experience, but also increasingly staff, too, who are having to deal with it,” she said.

“It’s part of the pressure that lots of teachers are experiencing at the moment – unacceptable behaviour, and that sadly does extend to sexist and misogynistic abuse.”

She also noted that “rates of violence against women … are far too high” across the UK, which Labour will also work to bring down.