MP Yvette Cooper says women need to deepen their voices to be heard in House of Commons

yvette cooper

MP Yvette Cooper has said that women need to deepen their voices to be heard in the House of Commons.

Speaking at the Hay Festival, Cooper said, “It is easier to command a debate and to command the House of Commons if you have a deeper voice and deeper pitch to your voice, just because of the acoustics of the place.”

“Therefore if you start speaking faster and your voice gets higher, it can be harder.”

“So learning some of those things, as a way just to be listened to and make your arguments, ends up being really important.”

“You can have a sense of burning injustice and yet you don’t get heard because of the way that the House of Commons works – people stop listening to you because you’re not speaking in a low enough voice.”

Cooper, who has been the Member of Parliament for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford since 2010, also suggested that some of the attitudes within the Commons could be construed as bullying.

She continued, “Some of it can also be what seems to start as robust banter and challenge, and then when you take a step back from it can look like bullying.”

The comments follow a number of reports that suggest the women are being put off politics due to bullying and the ‘rough and tumble nature’.

In February this year, Diane Abbott was also reported saying that women and minority groups may be put off politics because of the level of abuse they receive.

In January 2017, it was reported that over half of female MPs have been physically threatened by a member of the public.

Research by BBC Radio Five Live, also found that nine out of ten female MPs had been abused online while 80 per cent have been verbally attacked.

Alison Simpson
About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.

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