Tulip Siddiq calls for politics to be ‘more women friendly’ as Theresa May becomes PM
PUBLISHED: 13:15 12 July 2016 | UPDATED: 13:38 12 July 2016
As Britain prepares for its 76th Prime Minister - but only its second female leader - in Theresa May, Hampstead and Kilburn MP Tulip Siddiq has again called for politics to be made more “friendly for women”.
Ms Siddiq was on the Today programme this morning to discuss what the recent rise of women to prominent positions in politics means for gender equality.
But with Mrs May about to move into Number Ten and Angela Eagle challenging for the Labour leadership, Ms Siddiq suggested the fight for equality is far from over: “I think it’s important to notice that we do have more women in politics now, especially leaders, but good governance isn’t just about one person, it’s about pooling the people around the table.
“If you look, there’s still (only) a third of women in Parliament, we still haven’t got to the position where we’ve got 50-50, so for me it’s not just about one person.
“We need to think about the collective intelligence around the table and I’ll be interested to see what Prime Minister May’s cabinet looks like.”
During the discussion with Liberal Democrat peer Shirley Williams and Conservative Maria Miller, it was noted that many women who do succeed in politics, including Mrs May, do not have children.
Ms Siddiq, who gave birth to her first child earlier this year, said: “I was a local councillor, and only twelve per cent of council leaders are female.
“Even in council, you have such long hours which are not really child friendly, so we have to look at the different layers of politics - it’s not just about Parliament, it’s about the (London) Assembly, about council and about mayoralty.
“If we want to make it genuinely representative, we do need to move towards a culture that’s more friendly for women.”
Ms Siddiq has yet to confirm if she will back Ms Eagle for Labour leader as it remains unclear whether there will be other challengers, or even whether Jeremy Corbyn will automatically be allowed to defend his position without backing from 51 MPs.
However, Ms Siddiq expressed her admiration for Ms Eagle in an interview with the Ham&High last year, saying she was disappointed that Mr Corbyn had not appointed her as Shadow Foreign Secretary because she would be “brilliant” in the role.