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US politician says female reporter must be accompanied by a male

Republican Robert Foster said he will not be left alone with any female who is not his wife - including a working journalist. Source: Robert Foster/Facebook

Republican candidate Robert Foster is refusing to be left alone with any woman other than his wife during his campaign.

A female journalist has had her request to travel alongside a Republican candidate for Mississippi governor denied because she is a woman.

Mississippi Today journalist Larrison Campbell wrote on Wednesday that Republican Robert Foster's campaign director, Colton Robison, told her she would not be able to accompany Mr Foster on an upcoming campaign trip because people might think he is having an extramarital affair.

“The only reason you think that people will think I’m having a [improper] relationship with your candidate is because I am a woman,” Ms Campbell said she told Mr Robison. 

According to Ms Campbell's account, Mr Robison insisted that she would need to be accompanied by a male colleague - even after she said she offered to wear a press badge in clear view at all times. 

Mississippi Today rejected the request to send a male reporter on the basis it was "sexist and an unnecessary use of resources", Ms Campbell wrote.

Journalist Larrison Campbell said she was looking forward to covering Robert Foster's campaign.
Journalist Larrison Campbell said she was looking forward to covering Robert Foster's campaign.
Larrison Campbell/Twitter

In response to the Mississippi Today's account, Mr Foster reportedly told AP that "it's unprofessional to be alone with a woman who's not my wife."

If elected to governor, however, he said he would hire female staffers.

On Twitter, Mr Foster said he was "sticking to his guns" and labelled the criticism of his decision as an attack on Christian values.

"Once again, the liberal left is attacking someone for their integrity, professionalism, and Christian beliefs. They aren’t just attacking me. They are attacking the countless Mississippians who also share these values," he wrote on Thursday. 

"They can’t believe, that even in 2019, someone still values their relationship with their wife and upholds their Christian Faith."

Robert Foster and his wife earlier this year.
Robert Foster and his wife earlier this year.
Robert Foster/Facebook

In another Tweet, the Republican said he and his wife - who appears repeatedly in images on his campaign Facebook page - had made a commitment to follow the 'Billy Graham Rule', which refers to a practice whereby males refuse to spend time alone with women that they are not married to.

In 2017, US Vice President Mike Pence hit the headlines after it was revealed in a Washington Post profile that the Republican politician refused to dine alongside any woman who was not his wife.

Mr Foster has been a member of Mississippi’s House of Representatives since 2016. 

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