A senior UK Independence Party figure has rejected claims that he made sexist remarks during a debate on gender quotas for company boards.
Stuart Wheeler, the party's treasurer, argued that women are not as good as men at bridge, poker and chess as he attempted to explain why he thought it was not necessary for women to always be included in the senior ranks of businesses.
According to politics.co.uk, he told a London debate on the topic: "I would just like to challenge the idea that it is necessarily right to have a lot of women or any particular number on a board.
"Business is very, very competitive and if you take the performance of women in another competitive area, which is sport where they have no strength advantage - chess, bridge, poker - women come absolutely nowhere."
Mr Wheeler's views were reportedly challenged by panellist Dr Clare Gerada, chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, who described it as "a disingenuous, sexist comment", before pointing out her mother was a bridge champion.
But Mr Wheeler, a former Conservative Party donor, said later he was trying to explain that women are better at some things while men excel at others, which meant it would be wrong to impose gender quotas on company boards.
He added that Ukip needed to attract more women and was making steps to achieve this but ruled out quotas.
Mr Wheeler told BBC Radio 4's The World At One programme: "I pointed out that in certain areas women did not do as well as men in an area where they don't compete on the basis of athleticism or strength, where obviously men would have an advantage.
"Then I cited poker, bridge and chess. I pointed out in those three indoor games women were nowhere near as good as men, for whatever the reason may be.
"Then this lady Clare Gerada leapt to her feet, she was one of the panel, and said 'Well, look, my 83-year-old mother is terribly good at bridge and a bridge champion', and that seemed to be a reason for saying therefore my remark was sexist, which is not really a logical connection."