Margot Parker MEP, UKIP’s women and equalities spokesman, has said more must be done to encourage women into politics.
But she said Government legislation to force the issue is not the way forward.
She was reacting to news from the Women and Equalities Committee, chaired by former Culture Secretary Maria Miller, which called on political parties to be held to account to reducing the deficit in women MPs.
It said those which fail to take steps to ensure at least 45 per cent of all representatives in Parliament are women should be forced to do so by new legislation.
But Mrs Parker said: “Legislation is too heavy-handed. We must do more to encourage women to enter politics and enable those talented enough to flourish.
“There is an unpleasant undertone in politics where many women suffer from abrasiveness and sometimes downright bullying. This has no place in politics.
“What we need to do is to encourage women into politics where they can get on and achieve.
“We should be looking at the reasons women are not entering politics and treat that problem at source.”
A report revealed the UK has dropped to 48th place – from 25th in 1999 – in the global rankings.
At present, 30 per cent MPs are women.