I am strong advocate of All Women Shortlists and would continue to fight for gender equality in the parliamentary Labour Party. However, I am concerned about the lack of BME and working class women coming forward and getting selected in AWS. Contesting a parliamentary selection can be very costly and time consuming; however I do believe that members should have an opportunity to meet the range of candidates putting themselves forward for selection.
I am keen for us to explore what more can be done to encourage women from these backgrounds to consider putting themselves forward for selections.
I am a strong advocate of mentoring; I have benefitted from a political mentor and I am proud to mentor young female students and party activists.
I am also keen to explore increasing the number of women standing for internal labour party positions. I am proud that in my CLP, Dulwich and West Norwood we have a strong top female Labour Party Team with our passionate MP Tessa Jowell, hardworking CLP Chair Fiona Twycross and dedicated CLP Secretary Kitty Usher.
If elected to the NEC I would be keen to:
· Clarify the transparency on how we determine which seats should be AWS – I know that this has caused some difficulties where CLP’s feel that the decision has been imposed on them
· Work with the two ALC Local Government Reps on the NEC to push for Labour Groups to reduce funding to the central party and instead use this fund to provide training for women seeking to stand for local government
· Continued support for the women’s conference at Labour Party Annual Conference and trying to establish a similar event at the annual Local Government conference.
· Work with LWN, The Fabian Women’s Network and the Labour Black Women’s Network to address how we can develop plans to encourage more working class and BME women to join, participate and stand for internal party positions not just parliamentary selections