Number of ethnic minority MPs may soon increase

Suggestion to increase the numbers follows cross-party review

13th January 2010:
New plans published by a cross-party review suggest all political parties in Britain will soon have to increase the number of ethnic minority MPs. The cross-party review was held under the chairmanship of speaker John Bercow.

The proposals have been commissioned by Prime Minister Gordon Brown and backed by the Conservative MP Bercow

According to available information, the Speaker’s Conference in its report has also called for compulsory all-women candidate shortlists. As of now some 20 per cent of the MPs are women. The figure is considered too low by the Tory Speaker.

“If the political parties fail to make significant progress on women’s representation at the 2010 General Election, Parliament should give serious consideration to the introduction of prescriptive quotas, ensuring all political parties adopt some form of equality guarantee in time for the following General Election,” the Tory-Labour report says.

Harriet Harman, Labour’s deputy leader and equality minister, said the society has over the years changed and the House needs to change too. They should take all the steps to increase diversity in Parliament, which must reflect the country in which they lived and the public they served.

Reacting to the developments, the British National Party said it believed all potential candidate selections should be based solely on merit. If the person was best suited for the job and could deliver to the constituents, that person should be selected.

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