On International Women’s Day we reminded you what a difference a Labour victory on May 7 would make for women’s political representation.
The contrast between Cameron’s cabinet, announced today, and Labour’s Shadow Cabinet underlines that.
In spite of all his efforts – Cameron has only been able to appoint 9 women out of 29 members of cabinet are women – that’s 31%.
By contrast Labour’s shadow cabinet is more or less 50:50 – 14 women and 15 men. [see below for full details]
And as we said in our previous post – that representation of women would – on the basis of the shadow team – have extended right down through non-cabinet ministerial positions. Virtually no department of government would have lacked a woman in office. There would have been a massive shift in the gender balance of power.
The difference between Labour and the Tories comes down to a simple question of numbers – the Tories simply have so many fewer women MPs.
There are now 191 women MPs – c 29% of the total. Of those 191, well over half – 99 – are Labour MPs. Although the number of Labour MPs has declined – from 258 to 232 – the number of Labour women MPs has actually risen – from 87 to 99.
42.7% of Labour MPs are now women.
Yorkshire and the Humber, by the way, is now fifth in the ranking for women MPs – with over 30%. But we’re still behind the NE – which tops the league at well over 40% – in part because it’s such a strong Labour region.
The Tories, in spite of having increased their number of MPs from 303 to 331, have only increased the number of women from 47 to 68. Only 20.5% of Tory MPs are women, even after their victory.
The LibDems now have no women MPs. But then, they have virtually no MPs.
The new parliament has the highest proportion of women ever – a tribute largely to Labour’s efforts over many years to get women represented.
But we didn’t get that huge number of women in office we promised you.
Just another difference the electorate didn’t choose to make.
Labour’s new Shadow Cabinet is:
Leader of the Opposition and Acting Leader of the Labour Party Harriet Harman MP
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer Chris Leslie MP
Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn MP
Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper MP
Shadow Lord Chancellor, Shadow Secretary of State for Justice Lord Falconer of Thoroton
Opposition Chief Whip Rosie Winterton MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Health Andy Burnham MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Chuka Umunna MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Rachel Reeves MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Education Tristram Hunt MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Defence Vernon Coaker MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Emma Reynolds MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Caroline Flint MP
Shadow Leader of the House of Commons and Chair of the National Policy Forum Angela Eagle MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Transport Michael Dugher MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Ivan Lewis MP
Shadow Secretary of State for International Development Mary Creagh MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland Ian Murray MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Wales Owen Smith MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Maria Eagle MP
Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office Lucy Powell MP
Shadow Minister without Portfolio and Deputy Party Chair Jon Trickett MP
Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities Gloria De Piero MP
Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Chris Bryant MP
Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Shabana Mahmood MP
Shadow Leader of the House of Lords Baroness Royall of Blaisdon
Lords Chief Whip Lord Bassam of Brighton
Also attending Shadow Cabinet:
Shadow Minister for Care and Older People Liz Kendall MP
Shadow Attorney General Lord Bach
29 people – 14 women and 15 men.