By Matthew Barrett
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David Cameron, in the latest edition of The House magazine, has given an interview to Paul Waugh, in which he suggests the Conservative Party should use the ongoing boundary reviews – and the consequent Party selection processes – to push for more women candidates.
Mr Cameron says:
"We’ve obviously got a Boundary Review, which is a very big issue so I don’t want to pile another new set of issues on top of that, but I think where there are opportunities, new seats, entirely new seats where we hope to take on Labour, or perhaps some seats where people are retiring, we’ve got to ask ourselves, the party needs to ask itself the question, ‘what are we going to do to help keep pushing forward the agenda of getting more good women to stand for Parliament and to get into Parliament. That’s a conversation we are starting now."
On a similar note, Mr Cameron was asked "Do you still have the ambition to have a third of your ministers as women? Is that still viable?". He replied:
"I do. Look, I’m very committed to the progress of getting more women standing for Parliament, getting more women elected to Parliament and when in Parliament, making sure that we have more women on the front bench. Obviously we are in a Coalition and we have two parties and that changes the arithmetic but I certainly want to do my bit."
Elsewhere in the interview, Mr Cameron was asked about the failure to win a majority in the 2010 general election. Mr Cameron replied:
"It was a bit like Operation Market Garden … We had to do well on every front. We had to succeed in the East Kent corridor, London, the South East, the South West against the Lib Dems, North West against Labour, Yorkshire and Humberside. We did really well in lots of them but we didn’t quite make it on every front and I think we can do better. I think one of the reasons we didn’t do it is that it was a time of economic difficulty and uncertainty and the British public was nervous about change and I think after 5 years they will have seen yes difficult decisions but ones that on the whole they would recognise are necessary and it’s an opportunity at the end of that to go to them and say ‘You’ve seen what we can do in Government, what the team is capable of, what the policies are, what the values are and it will be a different question."