‘Stupid woman!’ Hague under fire for ‘sexist’ PMQs jibe

William Hague has revived accusations of Tory sexism by calling a Labour MP a "stupid woman" during prime minister's questions.

The foreign secretary's attacks came after Cathy Jamieson, the MP for Kilmarnock and Loudoun, asked whether a Tory donor's support for the Conservatives had influence in Hague's intervention in a tax dispute.

David Cameron replied: "The donations to the Conservative party do not buy votes in our party conference, they do not buy votes for our leader, they don't mean you can select candidates. That is the unhealthy relationship in British politics."

As he did so Hague could be seen twice saying "stupid woman" across the despatch box at the Labour backbencher.

His heckle was noticed by other Labour MPs in the chamber including Michael McCann, who tweeted: "Scandalous."

It prompted instant condemnation on social media sites. Twitter saw Hague dismissed as a "disgrace of a man" and condemned for being "utterly despicable".

One tweeter asked: "Is he trying to compete with Boris for the title of Most Sexist Politician?"

The mayor of London got into hot water last week after suggesting women only go to university in order to meet rich husbands.

Hague's comment will only reinforce public perceptions about the Conservatives' sexist impulses. It follows the row over David Cameron telling a female Labour frontbencher to "calm down dear" – a phrase which has now entered everyday usage in Westminster as a result.

"William Hague has not denied calling Cathy Jamieson a 'stupid woman' and his mealy mouthed excuses to the House were completely inadequate," East Lothian MP Fiona O'Donnell said.

"William Hague should immediately and publicly apologise for making these patronising comments.

"After David Cameron told a woman MP to 'calm down dear' and Boris Johnson said earlier this week that women go to university because they 'have got to find men to marry', William Hague's performance makes it even clearer that the nasty party is alive and well."