Somerset Council has been slammed for a decision to remove the word 'mother' from its maternity leave policy documents.

The decision to replace the word mother with 'new and expectant parents' prompted former education minister Andrea Jenkyns to brand the local authority as 'bonkers.'

Speaking on GB News, Ms Jenkyns accused Somerset Council of 'jumping on a woke bandwagon.' She said: “I think it’s more bonkers decisions on the lefty woke-wagon.

“I’m a proud mum. I breastfed, not chestfed. And what I find so shocking is that the left and the civil service are always basing their decisions on opinions rather than biology.

“I'm a proud mum and I just think the fact that you carry a child for nine months - it's such a not only a pleasure, it's an honour to give life and we shouldn't dumb that down.

“I'm not a feminist at all. I'm for the meritocracy but the fact is, I'm proud to be a mum.

“I’ve got no problem if people want to call themselves a trans-man or a trans-woman – whatever makes them happy.

“But there's only actually one mother and that's a female who gives birth. To me, a female who adopts is mother as well.

“But what I want to really, I don't understand why the left are so ashamed of motherhood, why they're not proud to be women.

“And I think it's about time that the government - I know Rishi and a few others have been taking a stand but - really take a stand for common sense.

“This has been a campaign for over a decade. I hope that common sense prevails because they haven't got the British public behind them at large.

“I think it's only a matter of time and let's face it, the British public have got more important things to think about like paying their way in life.”     

Announcing the decision, Somerset Council said the change was introduced to remain inclusive toward non-binary and transgender employees, saying "This policy and associated guidance apply to all employees who are pregnant, who have given birth in the last 6 months and those breastfeeding, this includes transgender and non-binary people.

"Therefor, to ensure the document is inclusive, 'new and expectant parents' is the term used to describe all relevant employees."

Somerset Council were approached for comment but did not respond before publication.