The House of Lords EU Justice Sub-Committee is calling on the Government to explain why it is not backing proposals for national political parties to provide the gender diversity data of candidates at the previous European Parliamentary election. The Committee is mystified by the Government’s position, particularly given efforts to promote greater female representation in politics.
The Committee believes the publication of gender diversity data to be a matter of public interest. Given that public money is being provided to European Political Parties it sees no reason why data should only be given on a voluntary basis (which appears to be the Government’s preferred option). In previous correspondence, the Government accepted that any burden on political parties would be small and for a short period of time only.
Chairman of the House of Lords EU Justice Sub-Committee Baroness Kennedy of The Shaws said:
“We can see no reason for the Government not to back proposals for political parties to publish this gender diversity data. Indeed marking the centenary of Votes for Women earlier this month, the Prime Minister herself said she wanted to see more women in politics and government, which this position appears to contradict.”
Read the House of Lords EU Justice Sub-Committee’s letter to Minister for the Constitution Chloe Smith MP here. The Government is expected to respond to this latest correspondence within ten days.