John Tory is defending himself after his comments on wage equality caused a stir on social media Monday afternoon.

The Newstalk 1010 host sat down with CP24’s Stephen LeDrew on Monday to discuss Porter’s plan to expand Toronto Island runways for jets. Near the end of the interview Tory discussed what was coming up on his radio show later in the day.

“There’s been quite a lot of writing recently about how the reason women make less money than men is because they don’t negotiate the same way as men. Men adopt an active negotiating posture and women don’t.”

“I will say, when I’ve had to negotiate, I will say to you the number of men who came to negotiate with me were much higher than women,” he continued. “Women don’t come as often to complain, the men do.”

“I do think more men put a fuss up about their money and that may say a lot about both,” he concluded.

The comment gained traction on social media when Toronto-based lawyer Warren Kinsella tweeted a selection from the interview.

“John Tory: he ran "a big law firm," and women didn't really "complain" to him as much as men did about their salary. Um, what? #TOpoli” the Liberal strategist wrote.

The news website Press Progress then posted a clip of the interview causing further debate on Twitter about whether or not the former politician’s comments were sexist.

“Common' sexists! Get it together, either women need to "pipe down" or we don't speak up enough. It can't be both! #TOPoli #JohnTory,” tweeted community advocate Claire McWatt.

Tory, who is rumoured to be considering a run for mayor in this fall’s election, told this is just an attack on his character for partisan reasons.

“This is all Warren Kinsella trying to spin a non-story, trying to help out (rumoured mayoral candidate) Olivia Chow. If you watch what I said, I said women are formidable negotiators, I was referencing other articles which just brought up that women have different negotiating styles.”

When asked if his comments were sexist, Tory said no.

“Of course anybody who’s ever worked for me knows my views. They know that I don’t have a chance of being sexist. There is no sliver of percentage point of me being sexist.”

Gender equality in wages has been a contentious issue for decades.  According to Statistics Canada women earned an average of 87 cents per dollar that men do 2011, up from 77 cents per dollar in 1981.

Remember for instant breaking news follow @cp24 on Twitter.