The Lions are the lazy ones! Nadine Dorries wades into England’s Lionesses sexism row

28 July 2022, 08:31 | Updated: 28 July 2022, 08:53

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Nadine Dorries has blasted calls for the England women's football team to be called lions rather than lionesses, saying "lions are the lazy ones who lay around in the sun all day".

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The culture secretary was asked by LBC's Nick Ferrari about a "school of thought" that the Lionesses "should also be referred to as lions".

It comes ahead of England's match against Germany in the Euro 2022 final at Wembley on Sunday evening.

READ MORE: 'Totally invented tosh': Nadine Dorries dismisses claims she'd give up constituency seat for Boris

READ MORE: Truss vows to outlaw catcalling and wolf-whistling as part of crackdown on misogyny

Ms Dorries dismissed the calls as "rubbish" and "nonsense".

"They are lionesses, they are our lionesses, I love everything that is encapsulated within that word," she said.

She added: "I lived in Africa for a year and it's well known that the lions are the lazy ones who lay around in the sun all day, the lionesses don't only go and get the food in but they also look after the cubs and the entire pride.

England celebrate their fourth goal in their Euro 2022 clash against Sweden
England celebrate their fourth goal in their Euro 2022 clash against Sweden. Picture: Alamy

"I actually think they should be lionesses and I am proud of calling them lionesses. Call them lions? No, I'm afraid that's not going to happen, certainly not in my house anyway."

Asked by Nick if she was suggesting that "Harry Kane and Harry Maguire just lounge about while these lionesses race about Wembley", Ms Dorries denied this.

She defended her stance, continuing: "The symbolism of the word lionesses encapsulates so much that is powerful and positive and good.

"Why would people try to denigrate something that is really positive and really great about women's football in that way.

"It's going to be a great night at Wembley on Sunday night, why would anybody, media or anybody already start wanting to chip away at something that is a fantastic event and a team of women who have performed so well in their sport and in what they've done.

"We should be proud of them, proud of the title and name lioness and celebrate it."

The debate over the team's nickname has picked up since England's impressive 4-0 victory over Sweden in the Euros semi-final earlier this week, with a suggestion that it is sexist.

However, the consensus appears to be that the positive connotations of the name far outweigh anything negative.