Ukip leader Nigel Farage says women working in financial services who have children are “worth far less” than men because of the effect of maternity leave on client relationships.
The Guardian reports Farage as saying that women who take time out of work to have children are not as valuable to their employers as men.
He said: “In many, many cases, women make different choices in life to the ones that men make simply for biological reasons.
“If a woman has a client base and has a child and takes two or three years off work, she is worth far less to the employer when she comes back than when she goes away because her client base cannot be stuck rigidly to her.
“I don’t believe that in the big banks and brokerage houses and Lloyd’s of London and everyone else in the City, I do not believe there is any discrimination against women at all. I think that young, able women who are prepared to sacrifice the family life and stick with their careers do as well, if not better, than men.”
Ukip courted controversy at its party conference when its former financial services spokesman and MEP Godfrey Bloom branded a room full of women “a bunch of sluts”.
Bloom later hit journalist Michael Crick over the head with a rolled up magazine and was dismissed from the party.