Tory MP Philip Davies has claimed "militant feminists" have abused him for saying men and women should be treated equally.

The outspoken backbencher told MPs on International Men's Day that those fighting for women's equality were often "quite happy" to forget that men were also "victims of discrimination and harassment".

He said: "It's fair to say that I am often pilloried for arguing that men and women be treated equally.

"I don't really see there is anything particularly controversial in that but it never ceases to amaze me how often I get accused of being a misogynist or sexist merely for saying men and women should be treated equally before the law.

"What seems to have happened in many cases is militant feminists have tried to close down any talk about men and women being treated equally.

"They hurl abuse at people who raise these issues in the hope that people will not listen any more to what they say, that they will stop saying those things and also deter other people from standing up and saying those things."

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He added: "So when thinking about International Men's Day let's remind ourselves there are many men who are victims of unequal pay, there are men who are victims of discrimination and harassment.

"You wouldn't think it when you see all the headlines about equal pay gaps only mentioning women."

Labour MP Paula Sherriff (Dewsbury) said attempts to frame the debate around "who has it worst, men or women?" were "juvenile".

She said: "I am a proud feminist, but that does not mean that I am ignorant or unsympathetic to issues of inequality between genders where women fare better than men.

"I believe strongly that where inequality exists it is our duty as parliamentarians to seek to change that and to create a more just and equal society."