The level of female MPs could be dramatically cut after the 2020 election, fears the Commons’ Women and Equalities Committee.
In response to the forthcoming Boundary Commissions review, the committee has warned that the proportion of women in parliament must not be hit.
The Boundary Commissions is looking to cut the number of seats within the Commons from 650 to 600, in a plan to redraw Britain’s political map.
Currently in the House of Commons, there are 192 women compared to 458 men of the 650 seats in the House of Commons. This means that women hold just 30 per cent representation within the House.
The inquiry, headed by Maria Miller MP, the Chair of the Committee, will look at whether the review is ensuring that a gender balance is achieved within parliament. The inquiry will also look at the recommendations from the recent ‘Good Parliament’ report by Professor Sarah Childs.
Speaking of the inquiry, Miller said, “Nearly 100 years on since the first female MP took their seat in the House of Commons we have seen just 451 female MPs elected.”
“There are more men in the House of Commons now than the total number of women MPs ever elected.”
“We need to see proper diversity in public life – an important part of this is making sure the House of Commons is representative of the nation at large.”
“Encouraging women into politics is an important first step but much more could and should be done to improve the retention of women MPs.”
“If the number of seats in the House is reduced we need to ensure that it is not at the expense of a representative, modern Parliament.”
“Our new inquiry will build on the work of The Good Parliament report and explore issues surrounding female representation in the House of Commons.”