Election results: Reform in politics can’t come a moment too soon


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Politics needs to change, that much is certain. Last Sunday night I was previewing the next day’s papers on Sky News, and they were full of Dan Jarvis (a Labour figure many had hoped would run for leader), saying he wanted to put his young family first, and Chuka Umunna introducing his girlfriend to the world, in what looked very much like the start of a “getting-to-know-me” leadership campaign.

A week later and Umunna has stepped up and stood down in short order citing – as we all know – overbearing press intrusion.

It leads us, not unreasonably, to the conclusion that politics needs to change, but it’s not just the media to blame for people being put off. The atmosphere and structure of the House of Commons are often said to be unappealing to women wishing to become MPs, and although going from 23 to 29 per cent representation is a move in the right direction, more needs to be done.

With this in mind, John Rentoul has some ideas for how to burst the Westminster bubble and reform politics (both inside and outside the system).

Nothing can be done, of course, to legislate for personality clashes and daft ideas – both of which were in evidence last week. Some wag in the office quipped yesterday that if the Lib Dems really are looking to rebrand as their priority (page 7), they should exchange their bird logo for a deckchair (as in, rearranging them on the Titanic). Politics is a cruel business.

Meanwhile, may I take this opportunity to remind you to nominate someone who makes life better and brighter in Britain with their kindness, for our annual Happy List?

And finally, a quick mention for the Action Against Hunger charity auction taking place now, online, which is jammed with some brilliant lots. If you like good food and drink, there are some stunning experiences to bid for ... and the chance to review a restaurant with me. Visit hot-dinners.com/auction to take part. It’s for a great cause.

Twitter: @lisamarkwell