BRITISH Prime Minister David Cameron apologized for disrespectful remarks he made to two female lawmakers but rejected opposition claims that he has a problem with women.
Cameron acknowledged that he “screwed up” during recent exchanges with Labour’s shadow chief secretary to the Treasurer Angela Eagle and one of his own Conservative Party members, backbench Tory MP Nadine Dorries, in Parliament. He insisted that he had been misunderstood.
He was widely criticized for telling Ms Eagle to “calm down, dear” and for suggesting that Ms Dorries was “extremely frustrated” – a choice of words that prompted such lewd jeers in the Parliament that he was forced to abandon the rest of his address. He appeared to join in the laughter as he sat down.
Cameron admitted he made a “terrible mistake” by using words that could have been interpreted as sexist but insisted he was not “one of the lads” and did not mean to cause offense.
“It’s my fault,” he told The (London) Sunday Times. “I’ve got to do better, I totally accept. I’m the one who’s got to explain who I am and what I’m like and what I think.”
The opposition Labour Party has sought to make political capital from the issue, amid concern within the Conservative Party that support among female voters is slipping.
Cameron, who has four senior female advisers, recently recruited two more women to his team and said that he plans to continue boosting the number of women among his staff.