Reshuffle fever is all about the boys

Given the impact coalition cuts are having on women’s lives, Cameron’s seemingly blasé approach to promoting women into ministerial jobs is surprising.

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The Daily Telegraph reports that David Cameron plans to promote the ‘so-called 2005 intake’ of MPs to the ministerial ranks in his long anticipated reshuffle which is scheduled for next month.

cameron-womenThe paper says the focus of the shake-up ‘is expected to be on the junior ministerial ranks rather than the Cabinet’.

MPs including Stephen Hammond, Keith Simpson, Andrew Murrison, Tobias Ellwood, Mark Lancaster, Ben Wallace, Adam Afriyie and Andrew Selous are set to join the ministerial ranks, the Telegraph suggests.

It quotes ‘a well-placed Downing Street source’ saying:

“The prime minister is very conscious of the work the 2005 intake did during the years in opposition and their loyal service for the government. This group will be well rewarded in the reshuffle.”

Apart from loyalty and the year they were elected, the over-riding characteristic all those named share is their gender. There is a marked lack of women connected with this fairly authoritative-seeming piece of reshuffle speculation.

As it stands, the ministerial ranks are not overburdened with women. There are only two women at minister of state level – the next rung down from the cabinet: Theresa Villiers at transport and the Lib Dem Sarah Teather at education.

Below that, there are only six women at parliamentary under-secretary level: Maria Miller at the DWP, Chloe Smith at the Treasury, Anne Milton at the DoH, Baroness Wilcox at BIS and Baroness Hanham at DCLG. The sixth is the Lib Dem equalities minister, Lynne Featherstone.

And out of 17 government whips in the Commons, only two are women.


See also:

Tories denounce boardroom quotas, as report says male-dominated boards will fall behind 29 May 2012

Women, politics and the crisis: We cannot ignore gender in politics 16 Jan 2012

Boris is turning back the clock for women in London 14 Nov 2011


Given the impact recession and coalition cuts are having on women’s lives, David Cameron’s seemingly blasé approach to promoting women into ministerial jobs is surprising.

What will he say to the many redoubtable Tory women who will criticise his ‘old boy’s club’ approach to governing? “Calm down dear?”


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8 Responses to “Reshuffle fever is all about the boys”

  1. kjghkjhg

    I wonder if the Labour party will ever have a female leader? And they’re only 150 years after the Conservatives in having a leader from an ethnic minority.

  2. Newsbot9

    So, what was your stance on all-female selection lists again?

  3. lkjhk

    I said 150 years after, so was including Ed Miliband.

    I believe in a true meritocracy, so no reserved female lists. Women are quite capable of making it on merit.

  4. Newsbot9

    Then you’re basically carping. I see.

  5. gteg

    another information-free comment. why not use this platform to have a reasoned debate? that’s what it’s here for.

    I’ll start. I don’t think we’ll see a female leader of the Labour party as long as I live because they are just a load of privately educated white middle class males with a few women and ethnic minorities along for camouflage.

  6. Newsbot9

    You won’t allow it, Mr. Keyboard Faceroll.

    Of course you don’t “believe” that anyone outside your class can become successful, because you’re changing the country’s social and economic structure to ensure that even the centralists can only become successful via privilege.

  7. jhg

    I am working class through and through. Went to a bog standard comprehensive. First ever to go to University. Always worked, never even had a day off ill in my life.

  8. Newsbot9

    Oh, well, seems just carping was an accurate comment. Never mind then.

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