A bill to reveal the gender pay gap at big companies was described as a “token gesture” by Peterborough’s MP who was one of seven people to vote against it.
Conservative MP Stewart Jackson voted against the Labour-backed Equal Pay (Transparency) Bill on Tuesday which called for employers with more than 250 staff to be made to publish information showing the difference between male and female pay.
The 10-minute rule bill passed by 258 votes to eight but is unlikely to become law without government backing.
Mr Jackson said: “I think it was unnecessary regulation, a token gesture by the Labour Party in the run-up to the election who did nothing in 13 years to address the issue.
“The fact is we are making good progress. The pay gap is down to 9.4 per cent which is the lowest level since 1997.
“Many businesses are already doing a good job. I have led a campaign to bring in the living wage. Having that would have a strong impact.”
Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Peterborough, Lisa Forbes, says she supports a living wage but does not feel it would address the issue.
She added: “The Labour Party are serious about equality. The issue comes out because there are more women in parliament.
“I do not think it is politicking. If you a shine a light on these issues it makes companies do something about it.”