Nick Clegg looks at all-women shortlists in 2020 election
Nick Clegg is planning to introduce all-women shortlists for the Liberal Democrats if not enough female candidates are selected in winnable seats in 2015.
The radical policy change, which will upset many activists who believe it would go against the party's constitution, would be introduced in the next Parliament as many candidates have already been selected for the election in 18 months' time.
Only 12 per cent of Lib Dem MPs are women, and there are none at all from ethnic minorities. Lib Dem sources said a number of "excellent" female and ethnic minority candidates have already been selected to replace outgoing Lib Dem MPs and in winnable seats for 2015. But if the female tally does not increase dramatically, all-women shortlists will be imposed for the 2020 election.
The policy change emerged as Labour highlighted figures showing how David Cameron and Mr Clegg have failed to display equality when picking out their MPs for honours.
Mr Cameron awarded knighthoods to two Tory MPs sacked as whips in the reshuffle, meaning he has now awarded honours to nine male MPs. Only one woman, Angela Watkinson, has received a damehood.
The Deputy Prime Minister has not awarded any women MPs damehoods, but four male Lib Dem MPs have been knighted since the election, and there are now seven Lib Dem knights – the same as the number of the party's women MPs.
Of the six Labour MPs honoured since the election, four have been women.
Labour's Equalities spokeswoman, Gloria de Piero, said: "David Cameron's problem with women shapes Conservative policy and personnel. Sacked men seem to get rewarded whereas sacked women get ignored. It is essential in modern politics that those at the top table reflect modern Britain. That goes for gender as it does race and class."
- 1 Turkish President: 'Equality between men and women is against nature'
- 2 Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
- 3 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 4 Bill Cosby: Isn’t it obvious why his accusers have stayed silent up until now?
- 5 Isis propaganda image showing 'abuse of Muslim woman by soldiers' is actually taken from Hungarian porn film
Turkish President: 'Equality between men and women is against nature'
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Ferguson decision: Tea Party website mocks Michael Brown's family over T-shirt typo
Michael Brown shooting: Ten things we know – or know better – now the Ferguson grand jury's work is over
Isis propaganda image showing 'abuse of Muslim woman by soldiers' is actually taken from Hungarian porn film
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: NORTH HAMPSHIRE - SENIOR POSITION - An exciti...
£29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Gas Installation Engineer is required ...
£28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Domestic Gas Technical Surveyor is req...
£27000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Yorkshire based firm looking to...