ERS Cymru letter to the leadership candidates

Posted on the 16th August 2018

Dear leadership candidate,

The current leadership elections offer an unprecedented opportunity for Wales’ political leaders to step up on the issue of diversity and offer significant new policy commitments on equality.

I am writing today to urge you to consider committing to the recommendations we made in our July report, ‘New Voices: How Welsh politics can begin to reflect Wales’, which looked at how to overcome the barriers to equality in Welsh politics.

We would ask that you commit to the following:

  • A commitment to fielding at least 45% female candidates in Assembly elections
  • The introduction of measures to encourage a broader range of candidates from ethnic minorities, a wider age spread and those with disabilities, as well as monitoring processes to ensure progress
  • A commitment to deliver the recommendations of the Expert Panel on Assembly Reform on gender parity
  • That your party signs up to a joint code of conduct on intimidating behaviour along with other parties in the Assembly
    A commitment to delivering better political education in Welsh schools

Our report found serious issues with diversity in the Assembly, including a complete absence of any BAME woman ever being elected to the Senedd, and the systemic issue of abuse and harassment. In a survey undertaken by 266 Welsh politicians 45.5% of total respondents and 54% of women said they had faced abuse.

This is a serious issue and affects more than just the makeup of our institutions. This is about properly representing Wales and ensuring that everyone feels their voices are able to be heard.

A strong commitment to tackling the barriers to diversity in Wales would be a fundamental step forward.

We are sending this letter to all party leadership candidates and look forward to your response.

Best wishes,

Jess Blair
Director, ERS Cymru

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