Gender and Politics in the media

UK: Bercow: Too many ‘outstanding’ women MPs are leaving Parliament. Lord Rennard gives Lib Dems an ultimatum over his suspension.


Speaker John Bercow pays tribute to Labour MP Meg Munn

Speaker John Bercow: Parliament ‘losing too many female MPs’ BBC News Commons Speaker John Bercow has waded into the debate about the gender balance in Parliament.

During a debate in the Commons chamber, Mr Bercow said Parliament was losing too many “outstanding” female MPs.

Mr Bercow made the remark as he praised Labour MP and former minister Meg Munn, who is to stand down at the 2015 general election.

Labour leader Ed Miliband last week accused David Cameron of failing to promote female Tory MPs.

The prime minister defended his record but acknowledged that he wanted to promote more women to his government.

Speaking in the Commons on Monday, Education Minister Edward Timpson paid tribute to Ms Munn for her work in supporting children in care

John Bercow: Too many ‘outstanding’ women MPs are leaving Parliament Too many “outstanding” women MPs are leaving Parliament, John Bercow said.

The speaker has become the latest politician to wade into the argument over the increasing “women problem” within the political parties.

Mr Bercow said: “This House is losing far too many outstanding members and far too many outstanding female members.”

His comments come after Ed Miliband last week seized on Theresa May’s absence from Prime Minister’s Questions to point out David Cameron’s “all-male front bench” claiming that the Government had “failed women”.

Lord Rennard gives Lib Dems an ultimatum over his suspension The Guardian Lord Rennard, the former Liberal Democrat chief executive, will start court proceedings on Thursday to sue the party for damages unless his suspension and the threat of disciplinary action are lifted.

The party confirmed it had received a “letter before action” from Rennard’s lawyers, which raises the prospect of making three senior party figures personally liable for damages for a breach of contract.

Rennard issued the letter following his suspension from the party after he declined to apologise to four women who claimed that he harassed them. The party called for an apology after Alistair Webster QC, who reviewed the evidence on behalf of the Lib Dems, described the women’s testimony as broadly credible and said that Rennard should say sorry.

30% Club: Labour’s Quotas for Women and Ethnic Minorities Proposal is Disappointing International Business Times UK 

The news that the Labour government could introduce quotas for women and ethnic minorities if it were to win power in 2015 is not only disappointing and unnecessary, but rehashing the quota debate brings us tiresomely back to square one.

The arguments against quotas have not and will not change; to appoint women on anything other than merit creates only an optical solution and will never facilitate meaningful and sustainable change.

Norway remains the classic example of how quotas do not create sustainable change. It was the first country to introduce formal quotas for women on company boards in 2003, yet this bred a generation of ‘Golden Skirts’ – the female directors who now make up more than 40% of the boards of Norway’s listed companies.

Yet, while there is female representation at the very top echelons of business in Norway, just one layer down at the executive level, the pool for the next generation of board members, there is a glaring void.

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