27 Apr 2017

Tory selections – women on the march

Theresa May has long been committed to getting more women into Parliament and some think she may be using this snap election to up the numbers with a little stealthy positive discrimination.

CCHQ is imposing 3-candidate short lists on the constituencies where a sitting MP is standing down. So far (you can see www.conservativehome.com for the best news service on this) it looks like there might be at least one woman on every shortlist.

It could, of course, be pure accident and I may have missed some all-male shortlist. But the Downing Street team that was charged with scoping out an early election from Autumn of 2016 was also tasked with trying to make sure that the next Parliament, whenever it came, would have more women Tory MPs in it.

If true, it is a classic and quite revealing bit of Theresa May in action. David Cameron might’ve proclaimed a liberal project like this, maybe even risked a fight with his grassroots over it (in the early days of his leadership, at least). Theresa May, by contrast, prefers to get the job done without fuss or, depending on how you look at it, without scrutiny.

One Westminster source said: “never underestimate her own little psychodrama” of not doing things the way David Cameron did them.

Four more women were selected on Wednesday, including Joy Morrissey in Ealing, Julia Dockerill in Upminster and former MP Mary Macleod in Brentwood.

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