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16th December 2014
16
Dec 2014
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On EVEL and other issues, let citizens have their say

 

Responding to the publication of today’s command paper on English devolution, Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said:

“The Government has presented a shopping list of solutions to the English Question, demonstrating that even within the coalition they cannot agree on which solution is best. But that’s not surprising – the chances of cross-party agreement on such a partisan issue are never going to be very high.

“In any case, trying to tackle a single constitutional issue in isolation is never going to answer all of the questions currently facing the UK, such as how power should be shared between the nations and regions, and to what extent power should be devolved to the local level.

“There is a better way to approach this problem, one which doesn’t involve politicians squabbling behind closed doors as they drift further and further away from the public. A Constitutional Convention, giving citizens the lead in determining where power should lie, is the only way to make sure the UK reaches a lasting and legitimate settlement. And it’s the only way to untangle some of the intractable problems surrounding the English Question without descending into partisan bickering.

“Four of the five largest UK-wide parties are signed up to a citizen-led Constitutional Convention to decide how the UK should be governed, including addressing the English Question. It’s time the Conservatives went beyond being ‘open’ to this idea and recognised the overwhelming support for giving citizens a say in where power should lie.”

 

ENDS

 

1.     

2.      The Government’s command paper, The Implications of Devolution for England, is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/387598/implications_of_devolution_for_england_accessible.pdf

10th December 2014
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15,000 join leading NGOs calling for Constitutional Convention

A petition calling for a Constitutional Convention and signed by over 15,000 people, as well as a wide range of academics and civil society organisations, will be handed into No.10 Downing Street tomorrow[1].

 

The petition, which comes in advance of the Government’s expected announcement on ‘English Votes for English Laws’[2], demands that citizens - not politicians - are given the lead in deciding how the UK should be governed. Its call for a Constitutional Convention is supported by four of the five largest UK-wide parties (Labour, the Liberal Democrats, UKIP and the Green Party).

 

Signatories to the petition include respected constitutional academics such as Professor Vernon Bogdanor, as well as a range of civil society groups including the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations (ACEVO), the British Youth Council and the Democratic Society[3].

 

Katie Ghose, chief executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said:

 

“Since the Scottish independence referendum, all the pieces of Britain’s constitutional jigsaw have been thrown into the air. Our demand is simply that citizens should have a say in how those pieces are put back together.

 

“There is a growing consensus among citizens, academics, civil society groups and political parties that the future of our country should not be decided behind closed doors. We are calling on the Government to listen to that consensus and establish a Constitutional Convention to decide how the UK should be governed. That way, citizens will be given the lead in making crucial decisions about our country’s future.”

 

Alexandra Runswick, Director of Unlock Democracy, said:

 

“The independence referendum gave Scottish voters the power to decide Scotland’s political future. We believe that people across the country should have the same opportunity in a citizen-led Constitutional Convention.

 

“Constitutional reform has taken place in a piecemeal fashion in the UK. Particular grievances have been addressed but there has never been a citizen-led debate about how we should be governed. Unlock Democracy believes this conversation is long overdue and it is not something which can be conducted behind the closed doors of a cabinet committee meeting. There are already lively debates going on in communities across the country about where power should lie. We are calling on politicians to work collaboratively with the public in a Constitutional Convention to decide what’s next for the UK.”

 

ENDS

 

Notes

 

1. The petition will be delivered by Katie Ghose, chief executive of the Electoral Reform Society, and Alexandra Runswick, Director of Unlock Democracy, at 12pm on Thursday 11th December. For photographs contact Will Brett on will.brett@electoral-reform.org.uk / 07979 696 265.

 

2. The Government will publish a ‘command paper’ setting out the coalition parties’ positions on addressing the so-called English Question before Christmas

 

3. To view the full list of civil society organisations who have signed the petition, see http://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/images/dynamicImages/file/2014%20Dec%20Con%20Con%20Petition%20Square%20share.pdf

 

4. The full text of the petition is as follows:

 

 “We the undersigned call on party leaders to set up a UK-wide Constitutional Convention to decide how the UK should be governed.

 

The convention should be led by the people, not politicians, and should ensure fair and equal representation for the UK’s nations and regions. It should decide the sharing of power between the four UK countries, and how power should be decentralised.”

 

5. For more about the campaign for a UK-wide, citizen-led Constitutional Convention, see www.electoral-reform.org.uk/constitutional-convention

 

6. For more information and interviews, contact Will Brett on will.brett@electoral-reform.org.uk / 07979 696 265

14th November 2014
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ERS welcomes report on voter engagement

Responding to the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee’s report Voter engagement in the UK, published today, Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said:

“Voter disengagement is the central political challenge of our time, and the Committee should be applauded for its excellent work in this area. We wholeheartedly support the report’s recommendations on reforming voter registration to make it easier for people to vote, as well as widening the franchise so 16 and 17 year olds can take part in our democracy.

 

“It’s also gratifying to see so many respondents to the inquiry point out how utterly broken our electoral system is. We’re now in a four, five or even six-party era, so we can expect some horribly unfair results in the general election next year. We believe it is high time we got rid of the outdated First Past the Post, and replaced it with a fairer system where every voice is heard and every vote counts.”

 

The Committee has called on the Government to explore the idea of making election day a public holiday. Responding to this idea, Katie Ghose said:

 

“Voting is a fundamental part of our role as a citizen, so it’s right to celebrate the day we go to the polls and choose who represents us. It’s important that we innovate around how we do elections so we can successfully close the gap between people and politics. We’ll support any measure which creates a sense of occasion on election day.”

 

The Committee has also recommended making voting compulsory for some elections. Responding to this idea, Katie Ghose said:

 

“Making it compulsory for people to vote hides the symptoms of voter disengagement, but does nothing to address the causes. Many people are deeply distrustful of representative politics, but they won’t come back into the process in any meaningful way if they are forced to take part.

 

“We believe there are many other more positive things we should be doing to close the gap between people and politics, some of which have been recommended in this report.”

 

ENDS

 

For more information and interviews, contact Will Brett on will.brett@electoral-reform.org.uk / 07979 696 265

11th November 2014
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Electoral Reform Society (ERS) Cymru has welcomed the UK government’s announcement that the National Assembly for Wales will be able to decide that 16 and 17 years olds can vote in a referendum on the devolution of income tax to Wales. This follows the hugely successful change in allowing 16 and 17 year olds to vote in Scotland’s referendum on independence.
 
Steve Brooks, director of ERS Cymru said:
 
“We warmly welcome this momentous decision that the National Assembly will be able to include 16 and 17 year olds in a Welsh referendum for the first time. 
 
“Electoral Reform Society Cymru have been pushing hard for this crucial change to the Wales Bill. We were pleased when peers backed our call, and are now delighted that the UK Government has accepted that an amendment on this issue be included. 
 
“The inclusion of 16 and 17 year olds made a huge difference to democratic engagement in Scotland, and is likely to have a lasting impact. This could make for a similar transformation in Wales. It is vital that steps are taken to ensure that young people are registered in schools and that civic studies are made a core part of young people’s education to make the best use of this historic opportunity.”
 
However,16 and 17 year olds will not be included in elections in Wales, nor in the UK general election. Steve Brooks added:
 
“This change should be one further step toward extending the franchise across all UK elections. With Scotland having already extended the franchise to younger citizens in the recent referendum and overwhelming votes in favour at the National Assembly for Wales, it is time for Westminster to catch up. If 16 and 17 year olds can vote on referendums that shape the future of Wales and Scotland, surely they should also vote at all UK elections to decide who should govern them?”
 
END
 
Notes
 
1. The Electoral Reform Society (ERS) Cymru is a membership based campaign and research organisation that aims to build a better democracy.  For details of our work visit www.electoral-reform.org.uk 
2. For interviews and comment, please contact Dr Owain ap Gareth on 07771 661 802 owain.apgareth@electoral-reform.org.uk
 
3. The peers who produced the amendment to include 16 and 17 year olds in the referendum provisions in the Wales Bill were Lord Tyler, Baroness Young of Hornsey, Lord Thomas of Gresford and Lord Berkeley of Knighton. Many peers from different parties also provided amendments for votes at 16 to be applied in other elections. These have not been accepted by the UK Government.
 
19th October 2014
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Oct 2014
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A group of democracy experts, membership organisations and academics has written to William Hague to demonstrate support for a UK-wide, citizen-led Constitutional Convention. The signatories include the constitutional expert Vernon Bogdanor, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, and the Electoral Reform Society.

The text of the letter and the full list of signatories is as follows:

Friday 17th October 2014

Dear Rt Hon William Hague,

We are writing to you as representatives of a broad range of civil society – including democracy experts, membership organisations and academics – to urge the Devolution Committee which you chair to recommend establishment of a citizen-led Constitutional Convention with real powers to decide the future shape of the UK.

When it comes to new Scottish powers, there is clearly no going back on The Vow. But once these powers are delivered, there will still be wider questions about where power should lie elsewhere within the United Kingdom. Your committee is tasked with answering these difficult questions. We believe the best way of approaching this task is to give the lead to citizens, within a clearly defined process of decision-making.

The Scottish independence referendum demonstrated people’s enthusiasm for making decisions about the future of the UK. When given a real choice with real influence, Scots turned out to discuss, debate and vote on their future in unprecedented numbers. We urge your committee to build on this passion and give people across the UK a role in shaping the country.

A citizen-led Constitutional Convention is the only way to answer questions about the future of the UK in a way which commands legitimacy and ensures a sustainable settlement. It will not do for politicians to make these decisions about our constitutional future behind closed doors.

We are calling for a Constitutional Convention based on the following five principles:

 

·         UK-wide: it should involve the people of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

·         People-led: a majority of the Convention participants should be randomly selected from the population, in a way which represents the UK as a whole

·         Focused on where power lies: the Convention should focus on deciding the balance of powers between the Westminster Government and our nations, regions, localities and people

·         Nations and regions recognised: the main Convention should be informed by discussions at a regional and national level, involving people from every section of society

·         Binding: there must be mechanisms in place – including a binding referendum – for ensuring that decisions made by the Convention are acted upon

 

We appreciate the challenges facing your committee, and would like to help you bring in the widest range of voices as possible to meet these challenges. To that end, please let us know how we can best contribute to your work.

In a time of low election turnouts and rising distrust in politicians, it is essential that people are given a say in the shape of our political system. You have an unrivalled opportunity to give them this chance. We ask you to seize it.

Yours sincerely,

 

Katie Ghose, chief executive, Electoral Reform Society
Prof Vernon Bogdanor, King’s College London
Alexandra Runswick, director, Unlock Democracy
Graham Allen MP, chair, Political and Constitutional Reform Committee
Stephen Bubb, chief executive, Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations
Prof Patrick Dunleavy, co-director, Democratic Audit
Dr Alan Renwick, Reading University
Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive, National Council for Voluntary Organisations
Mita Desai, chair, British Youth Council
Dr Andrew Blick, King’s College London
Nan Sloane, director, Centre for Women and Democracy
Anthony Zacharzewski, director, Democratic Society
Prof Roger Scully, University of Cardiff
Prof Matthew Flinders, University of Sheffield
Graeme McDonald, director, SOLACE
Prof Yvonne Galligan, Queen’s University Belfast
Prof Graham Walker, Queen’s University Belfast
David Torrance, journalist
Anthony Barnett, Open Democracy
Prof Laura McAllister, University of Liverpool
Emma Ritch, director, Engender Scotland
Simon Burall, director, Involve
Prof Stuart White, Jesus College, Oxford University
Neal Lawson, chair, Compass
Prof Conor Gearty, London School of Economics
Prof Simon Hix, London School of Economics
Prof Ron Johnston, Bristol University
Mike Sani, managing director, Bite the Ballot

13th October 2014
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Great to debate, but let’s have a format that reflects our multi-party era

Commenting on the broadcasters’ proposal for three TV debates in the run up to the 2015 General Election[1], Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said:

“It’s great to see some momentum behind the idea of TV debates. At their best, TV debates can make political issues come alive for the electorate, and after the success of 2010 voters expect to get this opportunity to hear directly from party leaders. It would be hugely disappointing to go back to the old days of no TV debates.

“But the format suggested by the broadcasters doesn’t really reflect the fact that we are now firmly in a multi-party era. It’s difficult to see how to justify the exclusion of smaller parties from the debates. And having a two-party duel between Labour and the Conservatives simply doesn’t reflect the way people see politics these days. Democracy is about hearing from everyone, not just from the two men most likely to be Prime Minister.

“People have changed since the heyday of the two-party system, and they want to hear a variety of voices in politics. The debates should be an opportunity to hear from the leaders of all parties which command a significant amount of support.

“Of course there are practicalities to consider in order to decide where to draw the line, but the principle should be in favour of openness rather than shutting people out. We want to see a format that fairly represents all of the parties which field candidates across the country and which people support in significant numbers.”

ENDS

For more information, interviews and comment, contact Will Brett on 07979 696 265 / will.brett@electoral-reform.org.uk

 



[1] See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-29595529 
19th September 2014
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Statement from the Electoral Reform Society
Immediate release 09:45 19th September 2014
Contact: Will Brett (will.brett@electoral-reform.org.uk / 07979 696 265)


Time to give all UK citizens a say

Commenting on the need for a UK-wide Constitutional Convention in the wake of the Scottish independence referendum, Katie Ghose (Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society) said:

“This referendum has demonstrated that when it comes to deciding the future of our country, people want to be asked. It would be a terrible waste if we do not build on that passion by ensuring everyone in the UK, and not just Scots, have a say in where power lies.

“Now is not the time for top-down commands on our constitution, issued by political leaders in the immediate, frenzied aftermath of this momentous vote. The future shape of the country is too important to be rushed through Parliament without consulting the people.

“We need a UK-wide, citizen-led Constitutional Convention to determine where power lies in the future. We can draw on international examples to create a process which does justice to people’s passion for change.

“Such a process needs clarity of purpose, and certainty about how its conclusions will be taken forward. It needs the full support of all the political parties, but it must also retain its independence from them.

“Above all, a UK Constitutional Convention must capitalise on the enormous amounts of interest and passion sparked in Scotland by the independence referendum, and bring that passion for determining our political future to the rest of the United Kingdom.”

ENDS

For more information, interviews and comment, contact Will Brett on 07979 696 265 / will.brett@electoral-reform.org.uk

NOTES

1. Last week The Times published a letter from the Electoral Reform Society and 18 other democracy experts, which called for a UK-wide Constitutional Convention whether or not Scotland votes for independence.

2. Citizen-led Constitutional Conventions have been successfully used around the world to settle where power should lie. For a recent example, see the Irish Constitutional Convention (https://www.constitution.ie). For more information about Constitutional Conventions and what this would look like for the United Kingdom, see http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmselect/cmpolcon/writev/constconv/m24.htm See also the Irish Constitutional Convention process or contact Will Brett (07979696265 / will.brett@electoral-reform.org.uk)
17th September 2014
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Whether or not Scotland votes for independence, the UK is set to change fundamentally. It is time all UK citizens, and not just Scots, had a say in the future shape of their country. The Electoral Reform Society is leading calls [1] for a UK-wide, citizen-led Constitutional Convention [2] to determine where power should lie.

Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said:

“The Scots have had over two years to decide on their future. They have seized that opportunity, enjoying a vibrant and detailed discussion about what they want their country to be. But people in the rest of the UK have not had that chance. South of the Scottish border, there has been no great conversation about our future, or which powers should lie at which level of government.

“We need that conversation. The unionist parties are promising full and speedy devolution of powers to Scotland in the event of a No vote. But this would radically affect the rest of the UK without any real consultation. A quick fix in the heat of a referendum is no way to make decisions about our constitutional future.”

The call for a Constitutional Convention comes in the wake of a slew of promises from the unionist parties which are set to fundamentally alter the constitutional settlement of the UK, whether Scotland is a part of it or not. When the single biggest reason for voting Yes is ‘feelings about Westminster and the type of politics there’[3], it is clear that the eventual settlement will not be seen as legitimate if it is delivered from on high.

Katie Ghose added:

“In the event of a Yes vote, citizens will need to be involved if the settlement is going to have any kind of legitimacy. Instead, we are faced with lengthy internal wrangling among the very same mistrusted political elite which is said to be driving many to vote Yes.

“If Scotland votes No, the future of the United Kingdom will still be up in the air. It can’t be right that this future is decided entirely by political leaders decreeing from on high where power should lie. The citizens of England, Wales, Northern Ireland, as well as Scotland, must have real influence in determining our constitutional settlement if it is going to be at all sustainable.

“Whether Scotland votes Yes or No, we need a UK-wide, citizen-led Constitutional Convention to decide where power should lie. The parties should go into the next General Election committed to giving people a real say in the future shape of their country.

“A Convention needs to be representative of the country. It needs an agreed process for turning its recommendations into reality. And its scope has to be realistic. But above all, it needs the buy-in of all the major political parties, to ensure that it is a real and meaningful process. That is the commitment we need from political leaders in the coming weeks.”

ENDS

For more information and interviews, contact Will Brett on 07979 696 265 / will.brett@electoral-reform.org.uk

NOTES

1. Last week The Times published a letter from the Electoral Reform Society and 18 other democracy experts, which called for a UK-wide Constitutional Convention whether or not Scotland votes for independence. The full text of the letter and all signatories are copied below.
2. Citizen-led Constitutional Conventions have been successfully used around the world to settle constitutional conventions. For a recent example, see the Irish Constitutional Convention (https://www.constitution.ie). For more information about Constitutional Conventions and what this would look like for the United Kingdom, see http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmselect/cmpolcon/writev/constconv/m24.htm See also the Irish Constitutional Convention process
3. See http://www.icmresearch.com/data/media/pdf/2014_guardian_scotland_poll.pdf


Letter to The Times, published 11th September 2014
Sir, The narrowing of the polls has led to a cascade of promises from the unionist political parties. Whatever the result of the vote, we need to decide where power in this country (or countries) should lie. It is time for a UK-wide constitutional convention, on the lines of recent conventions in Ireland and Iceland, that gives citizens a say in shaping the future. Such a process needs the support of all the political parties, but it must retain its independence from them. Above all, a UK constitutional convention must build on the passion ignited in Scotland by the referendum, and bring that desire for determining our political future to the rest of the UK.

Signatories:
Katie Ghose, chief executive, Electoral Reform Society; Prof Vernon Bogdanor, King’s College London; Alexandra Runswick, director, Unlock Democracy; Graham Allen MP, chairman, Political and Constitutional Reform Committee; Prof Patrick Dunleavy, Co-Director, Democratic Audit; Dr Alan Renwick, Reading University; Prof Matthew Flinders, University of Sheffield; Dr Andrew Blick, King’s College London; Nan Sloane, director, Centre for Women and Democracy; Anthony Zacharzewski, director, Democratic Society; Prof Roger Scully, University of Cardiff; Prof Yvonne Galligan, Queen’s University Belfast; Prof Graham Walker, Queen’s University Belfast; Graeme MacDonald, director, Solace; David Torrance, journalist; Anthony Barnett, Open Democracy; Prof Laura McAllister, University of Liverpool; Emma Ritch, director, Engender Scotland; Simon Burall, director, Involve

(http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/opinion/letters/article4202428.ece)

8th August 2014
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Cash for peerages?

Press release from the Electoral Reform Society, 11.00 8th August 2014

Contact: Will Brett, will.brett@electoral-reform.org.uk / 07979 696 265

 

The 22 new peers appointed today have donated nearly £7m to political parties, the Electoral Reform Society can reveal.

 

The vast majority of the £6,912,841 comes from one donor, Michael Farmer. But another five of the new peers are also party donors or closely associated with party donors. And 16 of the 22 new peers have previously held political positions (either elected or employed). This exposes the myth that the House of the Lords is a chamber full of independent experts. Instead it appears to be a way for party political people to achieve high office without submitting themselves to elections.

 

See table 1 below for a full breakdown of the new donor peers.

 

Commenting on the new peerages, Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said:

 

“These appointments further cement the impression that to get into the House of Lords, all you have to do is write a fat cheque to a political party or be a party hack. The second chamber is a crucial part of our political system, with real legislative power. It cannot be right that people are effectively able to buy a seat at the highest level of politics.

 

“It is the founding principle of democracy that we should be able to choose those who govern us. Until we have an elected second chamber, as opposed to one full to the brim with favoured sons and daughters, we will not be getting the democracy we deserve.”

 

The new appointments bring the total number of peers in the House of Lords to 850. With the possibility of more rounds of appointments after the general election to reflect any changes in political balance, the House of Lords is becoming increasingly over-subscribed.

 

Commenting on the ‘super-sized’ House of Lords, Katie Ghose added:

 

“At this rate it won’t be long before we have twice as many unelected Lords as we do elected MPs. That’s clearly an affront to democracy, but it also raises all sorts of practical problems. There simply isn’t enough room for them all. In fact, the only reason the Lords is still able to function at all is because so many don’t show up for work.

 

“The sheer size of the second chamber makes it completely unworkable. And that means reform is coming back on the agenda whether party leaders like it or not. The challenge for them is to address this blight on our democracy once and for all, and not just tinker at the edges.”

 

ENDS

 

For more information and interviews, contact Will Brett on 07979 696 265 / will.brett@electoral-reform.org.uk

 

Table 1

Name

Donated personally

Donated through proxies

Total

Party

Previous political position

Karren Brady

     

Conservative

N

Stuart Rose

     

Conservative

N

Michael Farmer

6,550,908.20

£6,250

6,557,158.20

Conservative

Y

Michael Cashman

2500

0

2,500.00

Labour

Y

Joanna Shields

     

Conservative

N

Rabinder Singh Suri

£129,380.00

£183.055.00

£312,435.00

Conservative

N

Chris Fox

     

Lib Dem

Y

Barbara Janke

£5,498

 

£5,498

Lib Dem

Y

Paul Scriven

£2,000

 

£2,000

Lib  Dem

Y

Martin Callanan

     

Conservative

Y

Carlyn Chisholm

     

Conservative

Y

Andrew Cooper

     

Conservative

Y

Natalie Evans

     

Conservative

Y

Dido Harding

     

Conservative

N

Arminka Helic

     

Conservative

Y

Nosheena Mobarik

     

Conservative

Y

Chris Lennie

     

Labour

Y

Gail Rebuck

£2,000

£31,250

£33,250

Labour

N

David Goddard

     

Lib Dem

Y

Kath Pinnock

     

Lib Dem

Y

Julie Smith

     

Lib Dem

Y

William Hay

     

DUP

Y

 

6692286.2

37500

£6,912,841

 

16/22

 

Source: Electoral Commission

 

16th July 2014
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 Press release from the Electoral Reform Society, 16 July 2014 11:45

Contact: Will Brett (will.brett@electoral-reform.org.uk / 07979 696 265)

Cameron has failed to meet his pledge on female ministers


Despite yesterday’s high-profile promotions, the Prime Minister has failed to meet his pledge that by the end of this parliament a third of his ministers would be female [1].


By any measure, the government – and the Conservatives’ share of government – is still dominated by men. The closest David Cameron gets to meeting his pledge is by interpreting ‘ministers’ as those Conservatives who attend Cabinet – but even then he falls short of his own target. If his pledge is interpreted to mean all ministers, and not just those who attend Cabinet, he is a full ten points short of meeting his promise. See the ERS’s analysis in the table below:

 

Cameron’s pledge: not met by any measure

 

% female

% Conservatives who are female

Pledge met?

Cabinet

23

30

No

Attending Cabinet

25

31

No

All ministers (incl. Cabinet)

23

24

No

All ministers and whips

26

28

No

 

 

Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said:

“It should not be so very taxing to make one in three of your ministers a woman. Even with the reshuffle, Mr Cameron has failed to do so. While it is heartening to see more women taking a seat at the top table of politics, the fact that the Prime Minister has failed to hit his own relatively unambitious target shows how much more effort needs to be made.

“We should also question how much difference this reshuffle can make when 83% of this parliament is already behind us and the Government’s legislative programme is all but finished. Having more women in positions of power is not just about symbolism – it’s about drawing on the resources and talent of 50% of the population. When that 50% have such unequal access to real power, it is bad news for us all.”

ENDS

Notes

1.      On 29 April 2009, David Cameron said: “If elected, by the end of our first Parliament I want a third of all my ministers to be female.” Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1175106/A-Tory-Government-ministers-women-claims-Cameron.html

 

 

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