Labour should publish its gender pay gap, says shadow equalities minister

Dawn Butler also said the party is currently setting up an LGBT+ advisory board that will help to shape Labour policy

Ashley Cowburn
Political Correspondent
Thursday 11 January 2018 22:47
Shadow Equalities Minister Dawn Butler
Shadow Equalities Minister Dawn Butler

Labour should publish its gender pay gap, according to the party’s shadow equalities minister.

Dawn Butler, the MP for Brent Central, also said the party is currently setting up an LGBT+ advisory board which will include activists from a range of backgrounds, helping to shape Labour’s policy.

Asked in an interview with House magazine whether the party should publish its gender pay gap, Ms Butler said: “Yes I do.”

“I think everybody should publish their gender pay gap. I think that you have to see it and measure it to be able to correct it and so it is time for everything to be corrected,” she added.

“I really do think that 2018 is the year, well it is the year for women anyway – 100 years since some women received the vote – so I do think in 2018 we are starting as we mean to go on. Asking for pay parity is just a right and everybody needs to fulfil their obligations.”

Ms Butler also said that trans women should be considered in all female shortlists for the party “if they want to be included”. She said there was no need to “make a big fuss” about those who decide to transition, adding they should be allowed to be their “true authentic self”.

It is understood that under Labour's selection procedures trans women can stand on all-women shortlists.

“We will take each step at a time,” Ms Butler added. “I think if a trans woman wanted to be included in an all-women shortlist then that should be considered.”

“I just don’t think people really need to make a big fuss about it. I mean if one of my team members came into the office and decided that James wanted to be called Jane and was now a woman I would not say ‘prove it, what do you mean?’ I would just accept where he is and his journey or where she is and her journey and that she is being her true authentic self.”

“I am in favour of equality. I don’t really care how people want to live their lives, if they are not hurting anyone then equality is equality and you should fight for somebody else’s rights as strongly as you fight for your own because that is how we get true equality. For me I want people to be their true authentic self whatever that may be.”

And she criticised Theresa May, claiming the Prime Minister is “not a feminist in my eyes” after her decision not to remove Toby Young from the board of the Office for Students following the reemergence of past homophobic and misogynistic comments.

“I don’t think she is a friend of women,” she added. “I think that – and I have got good reason for saying that – 86 per cent of the cuts have fallen on the shoulders of women from her Government. And I just don’t see how women could sit back and watch that happen.”

“I think Toby Young and what he said about women and his misogynistic comments that Theresa May said she’s not impressed with – she should have put her foot down, she should have insisted that he went, instead of going on national TV to defend him. Our Prime Minister went on national TV to defend somebody that was completely inappropriate for the position.”

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