As reported on DIVA earlier this week,
Portas - who is retail adviser to the Prime Minister during the
high street's current economic slump - made the comments in the new
issue of Heat magazine.
She told them: "I mean, what an ugly bunch. I could not look at
them. They do dress up for my meetings, but I just want to go,
'Please no, not that necklace, not that skirt'.'
"I'd say let's just put a bit of sex and glamour in there!".
But now, after attracting considerable press attention for her
views, Portas has written to each of the four women - Theresa May,
Tory chairman Baroness Warsi, Environment Secretary Caroline
Spelman and the Secretary of State for Wales, Cheryl Gillan - to
"explain and apologise".
In the letters she insisted that the comments were simply the
result of her "naughty" sense of humour, and were not meant to
Portas even admitted she didn't know who the women were.
"Everything I've been trying to do is to make women of that age
group visible and able to wear clothes that reflect where they've
come from in life and what they've achieved," she told the
"I'm very candid, straightforward and I've got a very naughty
sense of humour. But I do not want to be one of those women who are
bashing - that's just not my take."
"What I genuinely feel is that they [female politicians] work in
a deeply established male place, and I do think a lot of women find
it very difficult to know how to come across as professional - and
equal in some ways - because it's a phenomenally difficult job.
"When it comes down to it, with women and their intellect,
furthering their careers is much more sexy than how they