Tory MP mocked for suggesting female Doctor Who causes men to commit crime

25 November 2021, 18:48 | Updated: 26 November 2021, 10:10

MP complains males have no positive role models

By James Morris

A Tory MP has suggested young men are committing crime partly because the new Doctor Who is played by a female actor.

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Nick Fletcher, leading an International Men’s Day debate in Parliament today, told MPs this has left men with role models such as Tommy Shelby, the gangster protagonist of crime drama Peaky Blinders.

He asked: “Is there any wonder we are seeing so many young men committing crime?"

Alison McGovern, Labour’s shadow culture minister, responded to these comments by tweeting two pictures of footballers Marcus Rashford and Jordan Henderson.

The England Euro 2020 finalists were awarded MBEs this year following their off-the-field campaigning, for free school meals and the NHS respectively, during the Covid pandemic.

As part of the debate in Westminster Hall, Don Valley MP Mr Fletcher said men need “to have their own identity and for masculinity to be something that can be celebrated at times rather than continually vilified”.

He went on: “Everywhere, not least within the cultural sphere, there seems to be a call from a tiny yet very vocal minority that every male character or good role model must have a female replacement.

"One only needs to look at the discussion surrounding who will play the next James Bond – and it's not just James Bond.

'That's a very, very backward view of women in the world Penny.'

"In recent years we have seen Doctor Who, Ghostbusters, Luke Skywalker, the Equalizer all replaced by women, and men are left with the Krays and Tommy Shelby.”

Jodie Whittaker is the first female Doctor Who, while an all-female line-up starred in the 2016 remake of Ghostbusters.

He continued: “Is there any wonder we are seeing so many young men committing crime?

"These programmes make crime look cool.

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"Trust me, a lifetime in prison is not cool and neither is living with the memory of a stabbed son or daughter."

Mr Fletcher was widely mocked online for these comments, and later responded with a tweeted statement in which he claimed his "rather nuanced point that there are increasingly fewer positive male role models for young boys was almost immediately misconstrued".

"My point was, in fact, a straightforward one and in no way linked to Dr Who being a female to crime being committed by men."