I'm tired of being the only woman in the room - grab your hard hat, there's no excuse 

Donald Trump, surrounded by men, signing a bill on women's reproductive rights Credit: SAUL LOEB 

Theresa May really knows how to stage a hard hat protest, as she showed last year when she poked fun at the former chancellor George Osborne by donning his trademark hi-vis jacket and helmet to accept an award.

So I’m secretly hoping she’ll turn up at next week’s “Lass War” demonstration.

Women are being invited to wear the hard-hats so beloved of politicians visiting construction sites to protest at the preponderance of men speaking at next week’s Northern Powerhouse conference in Manchester. All 16 main speakers advertised in the press release were male. Only 13 out of 98 speakers, over the two days, are women.

The rally is the brainchild of the comedian and poet Kate Fox, who has said it looks “sexist and outdated” – a reminder of that now notorious photograph of 11 men signing the first devolution agreement with Osborne, who pioneered the so-called Northern Powerhouse to boost economic...

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