The Big Debate: All-women lists for Tory MPs?


Conservative leader David Cameron has said his party could introduce women-only shortlists of election candidates. Do you agree with this idea?


Conservative leader David Cameron has said his party could introduce women-only shortlists of election candidates.

He believes under-representation of women and ethnic minorities is ‘a real problem for Parliament and it’s been an even greater problem for my party’.

Currently, there are 19 female Tory MPs but Mr Cameron wants there to be 60 female Tory MPs if the Conservatives win the next election. But that still does not compare with Labour‘s record – currently they have 125 female MPs – which may be why Cameron is considering all-women shortlists, so a woman is guaranteed to represent the Conservatives if they win that seat.

All-women shortlists are not new. Labour introduced them 14 years ago, to boost the number of woman MPs in the party, and have been using them again during the current round of selection of parliamentary candidates.

But for the Conservatives, this is something new and controversial, and Cameron’s plans have not found favour with his entire party. Tory MP Ann Widdecombe said they were an ‘appalling’ idea and would make women MPs ‘second class citizens‘.

But what do you think? Should women be given the chance to fast-track into the House of Commons, via girls only lists? Or should women fight for their place in parliament, via mixed-sex lists?

This is your chance to share your thoughts with other women who want an intelligent debate on the subjects we’re all sharing with our friends.

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