Shields MP hits out at PM over equality

ON THE ATTACK ... Emma Lewell-Buck.
ON THE ATTACK ... Emma Lewell-Buck.

prime Minister David Cameron defended his record on equality after coming under attack from South Shields MP Emma Lewell-Buck in Parliament.

The Prime Minister insisted he had kept up his pledge for one in three of his ministers in Cabinet to be women, by pointing out that he has reached that figure in his party following the reshuffle.

However, Mr Cameron blamed the Liberal Democrats for the overall imbalance in the Cabinet.

Asked during Prime Minister’s Questions by Mrs Lewell-Buck why 75 per cent of his Cabinet are men, Mr Cameron said: “I think you are being a little bit churlish.

“The Government before my one had four women Cabinet ministers and three additional women attending Cabinet. We now have five full members of the Cabinet and an additional three attending, so more people attending.

“In terms of the Conservative Party, because, of course, I am leading a coalition Government, when it comes to Conservatives sitting around the Cabinet table I’m proud to say a third of them are now women.”

Speaking after Prime Minister’s Questions, Mrs Lewell-Buck said: “The Prime Minister has failed to meet a very modest target, even after more than four years of Government.

“The Tories are spinning this week’s announcements as a victory for women, but the fact is there are no more women in the Cabinet than there were in 2011.

“This is not a trivial issue. We have seen already how a male-dominated Government can overlook the impact its policy has on women – look at how progress on closing the gender pay gap has stalled, while cuts to public services and benefits are hitting women three times as hard as men.”