Catherine: PM’s response on women ‘blatant nonsense’

140327 McKinnell 9Newcastle North MP, Catherine McKinnell, challenged David Cameron in the Commons today (30th April) about the lack of women in his Cabinet.

Speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions, Catherine asked:

‘The Prime Minister promised that by the end of this Parliament a third of his Cabinet would be women. We know the former Culture Secretary had to go, but now only three of his 22 departments are run by women.

‘Does he agree with the new Culture Secretary that this is because Government appointments ‘should always be made on merit’?’

Commenting afterwards, Catherine said:

‘The Prime Minister’s response today was frankly pathetic – claiming that great progress on this issue has been made, when this is blatant nonsense.

‘To then try and put the blame on his Lib Dem colleagues by suggesting they need to ‘pull their weight’ on this issue – whilst true – is also just not good enough.

‘It’s an insult to the women of this country that – in 2014 – just three of the Prime Minister’s 22 Government Departments are run by women. How can the Government expect to be taken seriously on equality issues, and properly represent half of the population, when it continues to set such an appalling example?’