50:50 Parliament

23rd November 2018
Democracy is our privilege as a society. Because of this we have cultivated a heritage of ground breaking innovation, industrial and business inspiration to the rest of the world. Such a heritage brings a responsibility for future generations to ensure that we have society that continues to create possibilities, for the potential of every citizen.
 
It’s been 100 years since women first gained the right to stand for election to the House of Commons. In the past century, there have only been 491 female MPs – while 4,503 male MPs have been elected in that same time.
 
After the 2017 General Election it was noted that only 13 additional women joined the green benches in Parliament.
 
On the 21st November to celebrate the centenary of the Qualification of Women Act – the 50:50 Parliament campaign brought hundreds of women to Westminster to give them a taste of political life.
 
MPs asked female constituents to come to Westminster for the #AskHerToStand event, aimed at encouraging them to put themselves forward to become MPs. Clair-Mary was one of these women from my constituency who I was aware of had an interest in considering a role in public life.
 
It was an encouragement to me to invite a woman who possessed all the pre-requisites for public life and who would be of great value to Parliament with her various expertise to shadow me for the day. Clair-Mary has a strong professional background in politics, business and healthcare with a substantial career in senior roles before considering entering public life.
 
Prime Minister Theresa May said “I think we should send a very, very clear message, from everybody in this house, about the significance of the work that an individual Member of Parliament does and the change they can make for their community. It’s a great job and I encourage all the women who are here today and thinking of standing to stand for Parliament, get elected ,and make a difference.”
 
Clair-Mary says “Having this opportunity to join women from across the country in Parliament on this historic day and shadow my MP who has such a wealth of knowledge and experience to impart, has truly been an honour”.
 
During our time together we discussed a range of political concerns of the day including the future heritage of the nation, housing, health, social care and our elder population as well as a shared interest in the military.
 
I wish to encourage all those in my constituency who are interested in any of the variety of roles available in public life to get in touch and find out more.
Keith Simpson MP with Claire-Mary supporting the 50:50 Parliament campaign

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