Minority Representation

Women and Equality written question – answered on 14th May 2009.

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Photo of John Barrett John Barrett Shadow Work and Pensions Minister

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what recent assessment she has made of the adequacy of the representation of minorities in Parliament; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Maria Eagle Maria Eagle Parliamentary Secretary (Government Equalities office) (also in the Ministry of Justice), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Justice

We need Parliament to reflect all sections of society. Ethnic minorities and disabled people are grossly under-represented in Parliament. There are 15 ethnic minority MPs when proportionally there should be around 60. The imbalance is greater for ethnic minority women. There are only two. Action taken to redress this under-representation includes:

Using the Equality Bill to extend the time in which political parties can use women-only shortlists to 2030

Establishing a Speaker's Conference to consider the under representation of women, ethnic minorities and disabled people in the House of Commons.

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