Croydon has never had a woman MP, but tonight could see an important step made to change that.
Counting Women In today publishes its report Sex and Power 2013: Who Runs Britain? which details a huge gender imbalance in British public life.
More than 40 years after the historic Equal Pay Act, today’s report shows the discrimination which continues against women in public life.
Only 22.5 per cent of MPs are women; just 17.4 per cent of Cabinet ministers in the ConDem government are women; 12.3 per cent of council leaders in England are women; High Court judges comprise 15.6 per cent women; and only 5 per cent of national newspaper editors are women.
Tonight, the Labour party in Croydon Central will consider adopting an all-women’s short-list for it prospective parliamentary candidate – Croydon Central, held by Gavin Barwell, is 47th on Labour’s list of target seats for the 2015 General Election, requiring a 2.99 per cent swing.
If adopted, it will leave the way open for the likely speedy adoption of Nina Champion as the candidate.
Champion, a Cambridge law graduate, is backed by Labour party deputy leader Harriet Harman, for whom she once worked.
Champion moved into the constituency more than 12 months ago and is a self-declared “champion of women’s rights” and active with the Croydon Labour Women’s Forum.
The adoption of Croydon’s new champion will block the immediate ambitions of possible male Labour candidates for the parliamentary seat, including councillors Stuart Collins, Simon Hall and Gerry Ryan, Labour’s candidate in 2010.
Local women likely to be considered on an all-women shortlist may include London Assembly Member Valerie Shawcross, the runner-up to Steve Reed when Croydon North chose its candidate for November’s by-election, and Louisa Woodley, the Thornton Heath councillor who made significant in-roads to the Conservative majority in Croydon and Sutton in last May’s London Assembly elections.
- Counting Women In is a group that includes the Centre for Women and Democracy, the Fawcett Society and the Electoral Reform Society.
- Inside Croydon: For comment and analysis about Croydon, from inside Croydon – 142,300 unique page views, Nov 2012-Jan 2013
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- Don’t count us out (spectator.co.uk)
- Harman: PM must ‘man up’ (morningstaronline.co.uk)
- Croydon Council Sham Consultation (croydoncommunists.wordpress.com)