Leicester MP Keith Vaz is accused of 'sexism'
Leicester East MP Keith Vaz has been accused of sexism after suggesting Cabinet minister Theresa May was "looking a bit thin".
Mr Vaz made the controversial comment in a post on Twitter, which he has since deleted.
He wrote: "A bit worried about Home Secretary she is looking a bit thin these days. A new diet or pressure of work?"
Speaking on BBC Radio 4's PM programme, Tory MP Caroline Nokes, who chairs the all-party group on body image condemned the remark as "silly" and "patronising".
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She said: "I thought it was a rather silly and thoughtless remark from Keith.
"I know Keith, he is not by nature unpleasant, but I think this remark came across as rather patronising.
"If we were talking about a male home secretary who had lost a bit of weight, I am sure no member of parliament would comment."
Ms Nokes, said she had "borne the brunt" of jibes about her own weight.
She said: "My weight goes up and down and people will freely comment either I am looking a bit chubby or 'haven't you done well, you have lost a bit of weight'.
"I think it is a harsh reality that is dished out all too frequently to women MPs.
"I think it was sexist because the insinuation of the remark that Keith very unfortunately put on Twitter was about a woman who, he has suggested through his comments, is losing weight through the pressure of work. I think it is very sad that he chose to do so."
Mr Vaz did not respond to a Mercury request for comment.