Andrea Leadsom has come under fire for suggesting that it is sensible not to employ a man for childcare roles in case they are a paedophile.
The new cabinet minister made the comments in the same interview for The Times that sparked a backlash after she appeared to suggest that being a mother would make her a better choice for Conservative party leader.
Leadsom, who was appointed Environment Secretary by Prime Minister Theresa May after she quit the Tory run-off, told The Times that the "odds are stacked against you" if men are hired as nannies.
The minister also raised concern about rules stopping parents asking nannies if they planned to have children of their own.
"So we want to employ women and of course, generally speaking, we want to employ young women, motherly figures, and what do they want to do? They want to have their own children. So it is a bit of a... 'Are you going to have a baby?" she said.
"'I'm not allowed to ask you but would you mind?' Do you know what I mean? It's stupid. I genuinely feel in those areas you do actually need a balance. And it's not fair," Leadsom added.
Politicians have criticised her comments, labelling them "ignorant" and "lacking judgment".
Former shadow education secretary Lucy Powell told The Times:
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron branded Mrs Leadsom's comments "stupid" and "ignorant" and called for her to be sacked.
Labour shadow minister Jon Ashworth described her comments as "extraordinarily offensive".
A spokeswoman for Leadsom said that the minister had a male nanny for five years.
She added: "[She] was not saying that men are unsuitable as nannies."
A survey by the Pre-School Learning Alliance found that 97.9% of 1,200 parents surveyed were happy for men to work with children aged between three and five and 89% were fine with men caring for under-threes.