Former South Wales Police Chief Constable Matt Jukes 'will not apologise' for wearing menopause vest

Matt Jukes is an Assistant Commissioner at the Met and wore the vest as part of Menopause Awareness Month. Credit: PA Images

A former chief constable of South Wales Police has said he will "make no apologies" for wearing a vest that intends to simulate one of the symptoms of the menopause.

Matt Jukes, now the Metropolitan Police's anti-terror chief and the force's new HeForShe Gender Equality Lead, wore the garment to try and understand the impact of hot flashes.

He wore the vest, which contains pads that heat up, at a meeting in October to mark Menopause Awareness Month.

However, the Daily Mail reported how the move was criticised and dubbed a "woke stunt" by a former Scotland Yard chief superintendent.

The vests have been worn by MPs and celebrities, who are trying to gain an understanding of one of the symptoms of menopause.

The Mail Online explained that Mr Juke's experience was documented on the Met's intranet, with his account of what it felt like to wear the vest.

The Met Assistant Commissioner describes it as "uncomfortable, at times distracting", causing him to lose his train of thought during the meeting.

He also pointed out that purely by wearing the vest it does not qualify him "to 'mansplain' the menopause".

Mr Jukes added: "Now I can explain that to colleagues at the end of the meeting, I can explain to them what I was wearing and why. But those conversations don't take place for many women in the workplace.

"So as well having this experience today, which has given me heightened awareness, I am really re-doubling my focus to normalise our conversations about the menopause at work."

The Met Assistant Commissioner's actions were criticised by current and former Scotland Yard officers.

However former Scotland Yard chief superintendent Phil Flower told the Mail that the move was a "woke stunt".

Mr Flower said: "Growing public concern about the police's ability to deal effectively with crime and public disorder will be further undermined by this woke stunt. It's simple really: arrest and lock up criminals.

"Perhaps Matt Jukes could be encouraged to put on a blue uniform next time and walk on the streets at night to understand what it is like to be a real policeman."

Another retired Yard chief superintendent, Dai Davies, said Mr Jukes should prioritise "arresting burglars and people who attack women to counter the appalling level of arrests and charges in the Met, let alone convictions".

One serving senior officer at Scotland Yard also reportedly added: "At a time of crisis in the Met, this beggars belief. It's politically correct nonsense."

In reaction to the critcism, Matt Jukes tweeted that he would not be making an apology for trying to ensure women experiencing menopause feel supported.

He said: “I make no apologies for spending a fraction of a long working week ensuring women who make a massive contribution to the Met whilst experiencing the menopause feel recognised and supported."

Gwent Police's Chief Constable, Pam Kelly, posted on social media in support of Me Jukes.

She thanked him for "attempting to understand one of the most difficult challenges that many women face" and asked people to "respect" him because he is a good person.

Although some Twitter users described what Mr Jukes did as "patronising", many online posted their support - describing the Met officer as "an excellent leader" who had no need to apologise for wearing the vest. Some of the supportive tweets appeared to come from female colleagues.

A Scotland Yard spokesperson said: "A number of events were held for World Menopause Month and as part of this Assistant Commissioner Matt Jukes wore a vest recreating some of the effects of the menopause during a non-operational meeting."