Carol Vorderman feuds with minister who ‘refused to attend’ menopause hearing

·2 min read
Ms Vorderman looks animated before the committee - UK Parliament/PA Wire
Ms Vorderman looks animated before the committee - UK Parliament/PA Wire

Carol Vorderman has claimed a health minister “couldn’t be bothered” to come to a menopause hearing, as the two became embroiled in a public row.

Maria Caulfield, the minister for women’s health, reportedly “refused” to attend the women and equalities hearing on Wednesday, prompting an angry reaction from campaigners.

Ms Vorderman, the television presenter and menopause campaigner, said Ms Caulfield “couldn’t be bothered to turn up”.

She told MPs that she had seen Ms Caulfield “having a cup of tea” in Portcullis House that day, adding “that’s not much of an example, is it?”

On Thursday, she called on the minister to resign after claiming she had not shown respect to women by refusing to attend.

Ms Caulfield tweeted that she was “not a punch bag” and said anyone who posted “misleading information” about her would be blocked on the social media platform.

The former Countdown star then posted a screenshot on Twitter:

When challenged by another Twitter user about blocking Ms Vorderman, the MP replied: “She hasn’t pointed out facts. I couldn’t attend yesterday as I was seeing women campaigners against painful hysteroscopy which had been in the diary for months. I have given alternative dates to the committee and they are the facts.”

The committee said it had invited Ms Caulfield to appear before members to discuss the Government’s plans for action on menopause in the workplace “but the minister refused the invitation”.

It is understood the committee received a response from the minister, offering the dates when she was available, only after the letter they wrote to her, dated March 10, was posted on Twitter on March 17.

The committee is believed to have contacted her a number of times before that to agree a date for a hearing.

Caroline Nokes, who chairs the committee, confirmed at the end of Wednesday’s session that Ms Caulfield is expected to appear for a hearing in June.