A Conservative MSP has been mocked by the First Minister and fellow MSPs after he asked the SNP leader what she was doing to ensure men were paid the same as women.
Gordon Lindhurst told MSPs on Thursday that Holyrood’s economy and fair work committee, which he chairs, has heard “evidence that in some areas men suffer from a gender pay gap in relation to women”.
The Scottish Government estimates men working full-time earn 6.2% more than female workers.
Mr Lindhurst raised the issue at First Minister’s Questions on Thursday.
He asked the First Minister: “While this may be less of a problem than that affecting women, what steps is the Scottish Government taking to ensure a balanced approach which addresses the issue where it does affect men?”
While delivering his question, Lindhurst was heckled and laughed at by MSPs from across the political divide.
In response, the SNP leader said: “I think currently Ruth Davidson is slowly sliding under that desk in front of her.
“The whole essence of equality is that men and women are treated equally, so, yes, in the spirit of consensus I kind of accept the underlying premise of the question.
“But anybody who can look at the problem of the gender pay gap right now, or the gender inequalities that exist in other parts of our society, and concludes that the problem is ‘we’ve got to do more to help men rather than women’, I think kind of misses the whole point and probably just underlines the fact that the Tories have got an awful lot to do here.”
She added: “I looked at the detail of the shadow cabinet reshuffle that happened yesterday, and I may not be getting the figures absolutely right here, but in around something like 30 appointments there were only five women.
“That’s shocking and, I think, rather than come up with convoluted questions like that, the Tories really need to go away and take a long, hard look at themselves when it comes to gender balance.”