Eleanor Laing joins Flappers in call for more women MPs
On the 80th anniversary of men and women receiving equality at the ballot box Epping Forest MP, Eleanor Laing, joined activists outside parliament, in the call for more women in parliament.
Women currently make up just 20% of the House of Commons today, a figure virtually unchanged in a generation.
This comes as new research from the Electoral Reform Society has revealed that despite efforts by all parties not enough has been done to ensure that an increase in women MPs at the next General Election is even a possibility.
Eight decades on from the ‘Flapper Vote’ and women are still being passed over in candidate selection for winnable seats. The Society’s research shows that in all likely scenarios the number of women MPs will at best remain the same - and most likely fall. This, the Society argues, is in part a consequence of our electoral system.
Mrs Laing said “"All political parties have been working hard to get more women into Parliament. We are making progress but there is much more to be done. I want to encourage more women to come forward as parliamentary candidates. It is not true, as people sometimes suggest, that the House of Commons is a difficult working atmosphere for women. Things have changed a lot since Winston Churchill said that the Commons was not a suitable place for a woman - and we are much more civilised these days!”
Dr Ken Ritchie, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society said:
“This year we have marked 90 years since women in Britain first won the vote. Today we celebrate a further milestone: 80 years since full equality between men and women was finally achieved at the ballot box. But equality in law has not meant equality at Westminster.
“Which ever way you spin it, the next election simply cannot prove a watershed moment for women in politics. Progress has always been hard fought, and despite the rhetoric, the parties are simply not doing enough.”