Lib Dem Emma Walker tells Sky News about #Askhertostand event in Parliament

This Wednesday marked 100 years since the passing of the Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act 2018 which made it possible for women over the age of 21 to stand for Parliament.

A century on, women make up only just over 200 of 650 MPs. That’s why MPs were asked to invite a woman from their constituency to an Ask her to stand event to mark the anniversary.

Christine Jardine asked Emma Walker who, just over a year ago, wasn’t even a member of the Party. She’s made a massive impact in Scotland this year, getting involved in campaigning and member recruitment – and she opened the Autumn Conference in September.

Emma talked to Sky News about what had motivated her to get involved:

I started a campaign about maternity discrimination and spoke to my MSP about it when he knocked on my door one day. He backed it and eventually asked me to stand myself.

I was giddy. That ask, particularly from a politician, was just everything I needed.

I didn’t start straight away because I had family matters to deal with and even when I got to my ‘that’s it I’m standing’ moment it was still four months before I joined my local party.

From there I’ve become a candidate for council and I opened the Scottish Liberal Democrat Party conference earlier this year.

I am lucky because I’ve got an MP, an MSP and several councillors in my local party.

But what’s also really helped is support from other women, from a WhatsApp group.

I’m into cross-party support. I get messages from Women’s Equality Party members and from Conservatives.

We may not have Emma now if Alex Cole-Hamilton hadn’t knocked on her door and asked her to get involved. There will be women you know who would make great MPs. Why not invite them to get involved?

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2 Comments

  • Richard Underhill 23rd Nov '18 - 2:50pm

    BBC tv Politics Live has given a brief mention to Senator Kamala Harris as a possible candidate for President.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamala_Harris
    “In the November 2016 election, Harris defeated Sanchez with 62 percent of the vote, carrying all but four counties. Following her victory, Harris promised to protect immigrants from the policies of President-elect Donald Trump.”

  • If Westminster wasn’t the confrontational, testosterone driven bun fight it is, with hours that preclude any sort of family life and almost guarantee divorce, then perhaps more women would be interested in standing than at present. I take the view that most women are too intelligent to want to get involved in what passes for democracy.
    As far as approaching potentially sympathetic people and asking them to get involved, well yes, isn’t that what we should be doing anyway ? In my neck of the woods we struggle to find candidates for council elections, or to do anything really. We don’t go out asking women to stand, we ask anyone with a pulse !

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