The shadow public health minister and feminist Diane Abbott admits feminism is partly to blame for family breakdown.
The senior Labour figure told the Guardian that the women’s rights movement in the 1980s caused many to see the family as the place where women were kept down.
But now she says stable family units are vital, and difficulties within them cause societies’ biggest health issues.
Diane Abbott said: “As a feminist, perhaps we have been ambivalent about families.”
She added, “I still believe some kind of stable family structure is vital and that is what most people want around them”.
She argued that feminists should be able to talk about family difficulties, and such issues should not be confined to the pages of women’s magazines.
Diane Abbott said doctors tell her that family breakdown causes much of the drug and alcohol abuse they come across.
This comes as the UK has been revealed as one of the worst countries in the developed world for split families.
According to a survey by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, only Belgium, Estonia and Latvia have a higher level of family breakdown.
Diane Abbott also criticised the way children are being exposed to sex in society.
She said: “Now, children very young, 10 or 11, can go online and see stuff they could not have bought in a newsagent 20 years ago.”
She added: “This crude pornification is new, and leads to the objectification of the human body, especially girls’ bodies.”
Later this month, Diane Abbott is due to deliver a speech on the sexualisation of children.