A Polish MEP sparked outrage last night when he claimed women "must" earn less than men in the workplace because they are "weaker, smaller and less intelligent".

Janusz Korwin-Mikke, 74, who represents the remote region of Silesia at the European Parliament, bizarrely pointed out that there are no women in the world's top 100 chess players to make his case.

The conservative and Eurosceptic politician from Warsaw made his outrageous comments during a late night debate in the Brussels parliament about the gender pay gap in Europe and how the EU can address it.

The comments by the MEP, who has in the past also been accused of racism (he referred to black people on several occasions as "niggers"), were soon shot down by S&D MEP Iratxe Garcia Perez from Spain.

"I know that you're very upset and you’re very concerned about the fact that we women can represent citizens on an equal footing with you. Now I think I need to defend European women against men like you," she said.

At the end of the debate EU Commissioner Vera Jourova said the gender pay gap was perpetuated by remarks by politicians like Mr Korwin-Mikke which “demonstrate the lack of respect to women”.

Maltese MEPs Roberta Metsola and Miriam Dalli was among those who expressed their disapproval.


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