Responding to Jean-Claude Juncker’s public statement that the UK Government must nominate a woman for the European Commission, the independent Labour peer, Lord Stoddart of Swindon, has accused the European Commission president of acting like “a dictator” in telling an elected government what to do.

In his statement to an Austrian newspaper, Mr Juncker said: “Unfortunately, and despite my repeated requests, most of the governments insist on sending male candidates.

“A commission without a significant number of women is, in my view, neither legitimate nor credible.

“That is why I am continuing to insist with several heads of state and government that they send me a female candidate.”

Mr Juncker made it quite clear that the UK risked losing a prominent post on the commission if it persisted with its nomination of Lord Hill of Oareford.

Former Swindon MP Lord Stoddart said: “This unelected president of the commission is behaving like a dictator.

“He clearly thinks it is appropriate for him to override the wishes of the democratically elected UK government.

His behaviour is unacceptable and the Prime Minister should not kowtow to this jumped up bureaucrat with delusions of grandeur.

“Unfortunately, Mr Juncker’s attitude is all too common among EU officialdom which, in general, has contempt for democracy.

“The EU is not an organisation to which this country should belong and its ever-increasing dominance over our affairs is lamentable.”