ConservativeHome wrote yesterday that Johnson’s determination to promote more women to the Government front bench may have a knock-on effect on the biddability of male Tory MPs.
None are saying anything publicly. But many have lots to say on the subject privately. Here is a message from one to the Editor that gives a flavour of it:
“I know you will think this is just self-interested – but I think you severely underestimate the danger of trying to do 50/50 men/women ministers when the Parliamentary Party is 2/3 male.
You will end up basically guaranteeing women a job in government (some of whom, by the law of averages, will be rubbish) and leaving out lots of good men (I’m assuming you obviously leave out the rubbish men too).
They will start to get very restive and you will get less good ministerial teams, plus you undermine our fundamental Conservative argument against identity politics that will cause us growing problems in the future.
How will we fight against quotas for all sorts of things if we accept it in our own party? Very dangerous indeed – and the Conservative voting public hates it. So why do it?”