Azara Blog: David Cameron wants half of Tory short listed candidates to be women

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Date published: 2006/08/21

The BBC says:

Conservative leader David Cameron has announced new measures to make local associations put more women on their candidate selection shortlists.

Mr Cameron's initial measures have seen women candidates selected in a third of winnable seats, but he says the party must go "further" and "faster".

So he now wants two of the final four candidates short listed for selection in each constituency to be women.

Mr Cameron said he would review whether more action was needed later this year.

He did not rule out the idea of imposing all-women shortlists, which were used by Labour.

But he said he thought they were a "step too far".

"The problem with all women shortlists is you are really denying the ultimate choice to the constituency," he said.

The only way to do this fairly is to treat sitting MPs and prospective MPs the same. So if they want half of new MPs to be women they should also insist that half of existing MPs be women. And the only way to do that is to deselect almost all MPs and start again. Otherwise the people who have benefitted from alleged past discrimination against women (i.e. sitting male MPs) are the one group who are not penalised for that discrimination. Instead it is prospective male MPs who are penalised.

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