EU leaders have been banned from using the terms ‘Miss’ and ‘Mrs’ for fear of causing offence.
Terms such as ‘sportsmen’ and ‘statesmen’ are also to be replaced with ‘athletes’ and ‘political leaders’ under the new rules, which have prompted criticism from MEPs.
Female members of the European Parliament are to be addressed by their full names only, under guidance in a new “Gender-Neutral Language” pamphlet.
Scottish Conservative MEP Struan Stevenson said: “This is frankly ludicrous. We’ve seen the EU institutions try to ban the bagpipes and dictate the shape of bananas, but now they seem determined to tell us which words we are entitled to use in our own language.
“Gender-neutrality is really the last straw. The Thought Police are now on the rampage in the European Parliament.
“We will soon be told that the use of the words ‘man’ or ‘woman’ has been banned in case it causes offence to those who consider ‘gender neutrality’ an essential part of life.”
West Midlands Conservative MEP Philip Bradbourn is calling on the Secretary General to reveal who authorised the publication of the booklet and how much it has cost.
He said: “I will have no part of it. I will continue to use my own language and expressions, which I have used all my life, and will not be instructed by this institution or anyone else in these matters.
“I shall also expect the many translators who sit in the European parliament to translate accurately the language I use. I find this publication offensive in the extreme.”
Commentator Gerald Warner criticised the rules. He said: “It is because of the memory of Christian civility enshrined in these salutations, along with the marital and familial status they imply, that the dictators of the New Order at Brussels seek to excise them, as their predecessors tried to impose such synthetic styles as ‘citizen’ or ‘comrade’ on the totalitarian societies they tried to create and dominate.”