WOMEN in the North West earn less than their male counterparts, new analysis suggested.

Last year, for the first time since 2008, the gap between what women earn compared to men rose, figures released by the Office for National Statistics revealed.

Hyndburn and Haslingden MP Graham Jones said: “It seems extraordinary in an age when girls are outperforming boys at school, going to university in greater numbers and running FTSE 100 companies that pay inequality still exists, but it does.

“What is really depressing is that things are going backwards on David Cameron and Nick Clegg’s watch.

“Women in Haslingden and Hyndburn deserve much better than this and they can’t afford to wait another 44 years for pay equality, and neither can Britain.”

The Labour MP continued: “When it comes to supporting women to get ahead, this government has one massive blind spot.

“Hardly surprising some may say from a Cabinet with just three women out of twenty two full members.”

A third of working women are now in low-wage jobs, and nationally a record six million women are working part-time where hourly pay is on average a third less than they could expect in a full-time job.