Over at the Telegraph, Lib Dem blogger and former London Assembly candidate Charlotte Henry takes a look at the Lib Dems’ ‘woman problem’ in the light of the recent publicity concerning allegations against Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock and former party chief executive Lord (Chris) Rennard. Here’s an excerpt:
The Lib Dems need to get more women elected at every single level, of that there is no doubt. It is galling to still walk into party meetings with barely any women, or to still see male dominated panels at party conference. … All that said, it should be noted that the party leader in Wales is female, as is Caroline Pidgeon AM, who led the party’s London list last year. Furthermore, women occupy a huge number of powerful positions around Nick Clegg. It’s also worth pointing out that Liberal Youth, the party’s youth and student wing, have just elected two highly talented young women to be its chair and vice chair, both beating male candidates.
Friends and colleagues of mine have felt let down by our party when making the most serious of allegations. However, many of those issues stem from personal loyalty and poor organisational structures, not a desire for a libertarian free-for-all as has been implied. A thorough investigation into what was going on in the Liberal Democrats needs to happen, with recommendations made and more importantly, followed, so that that issues like this never arise again, and women feel safe in the party. That doesn’t mean the party has to stop being liberal though.
You can read Charlotte’s piece in full here.
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