To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what steps his Department is taking to increase the representation of Muslims on elected bodies.
The Government believes that democratic institutions make the best decisions when they have a mix of people with different skills, backgrounds and experiences, from right across the country. The Government implemented section 106 of the Equality Act, which makes it possible to require registered political parties to publish anonymised data relating to the diversity of their candidate selection. This is a voluntary approach, which provides greater transparency over candidate selection. It is for political parties to ensure that they have a wide range of candidates to stand for elections.
We have supported and promoted mentoring schemes and internships at local and national Government level to open up political life to black, Asian and minority women and disabled people. Schemes such as the ‘Be a Councillor Campaign’ run by the Local Government Association encourage candidates from all walks of life to come forward and represent their local community.