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SOUTH Dorset MP Richard Drax says David Cameron's reshuffle is "tokenism" and that the women promoted to the cabinet are "venturing out of their depth".

In a post on his blog he calls the reshuffle the "Night of the Petticoats" and says the women have only been promoted to meet a quota.

He writes: "Tokenism has burst upon us like a thunderstorm.

"First, I have no problem with women getting top jobs. But, they, like their male counterparts, must get there on merit, and not just because they are women and a quota needs to be filled by 2015."

He adds: "Perhaps it would be wiser to tackle the shallow end first, before venturing out of your depth."

Among the nine women promoted last week were Nicky Morgan, the new education secretary, Liz Truss, the new environment secretary, and Esther McVey, the Employment Minister.

Other newly promoted female MPs include Portsmouth's Penny Mordaunt, the new local government minister, Claire Perry, the new rail minister and Priti Patel, the new Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury.

Mr Drax also criticised the Recall Bil, which would let voters recall their MPs if they have engaged in "serious wrongdoing".

Mr Drax said: "Before the Night of the Petticoats, as it’s being dubbed, the Queen’s Speech referred to a recall Bill.

"This was a knee-jerk reaction to various shenanigans by a tiny handful of MPs whose conduct was brought into question.

"I fear the system would be open to abuse, with petitions being sought on deeply contentious issues, or on vexatious or politically-motivated grounds."

Read the full piece here

Labour's South Dorset parliamentary candidate ​Simon Bowkett said, “To question an MP on their ability or inexperience is one thing, but Mr Drax has reserved all his criticism only for his female colleagues.

"I am sure female voters will notice that he makes no mention of any other newly-promoted minister, like Sajid Javid, who was also only first elected in 2010 – but is a man.”

“Richard Drax’s controversial comments – like those he made last year about the No More Page 3 campaign – have again been the subject of national press coverage.

"Many of us are trying hard to present and promote Dorset as a modern, inclusive place to live and do business, and we could do without an MP whose comments regularly bring embarrassment, and frankly belong to another era."