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Cable Calls For All-BAME Shortlists

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Liberal Democrat Leader Vince Cable

There are just 51 BAME MPs. Despite being a record total, they represent only 7.9% of all MPs, against 14% of the British population. There are still too few opportunities for BAME people to enter British politics at all levels. Time for all-BAME shortlists to tackle Parliament’s diversity problem

Liberal Democrat Leader Vince Cable

Liberal Democrat Leader Vince Cable calls for all BAME shortlists to balance the people’s representation at British Parliament. There are just 51 BAME MPs. Despite being a record total, they represent only 7.9% of all MPs, against 14% of the British population. There are still too few opportunities for BAME people to enter British politics at all levels. Time for all-BAME shortlists to tackle Parliament’s diversity problem

He was speaking at The Grand Mawlid (Peace Conference) in Birmingham in front of an expected 4,000 audience. Mr Cable urged the government to change the law so that all-BAME shortlists are allowed for selecting Parliamentary election candidates.

Under the 2010 Equality Act, political parties may field all-women or all-disabled shortlists, but the law does not allow for all-BAME shortlists.

 

“There remains a serious lack of diversity in Parliament,” said Mr Cable. “There are just 51 BAME MPs. Despite being a record total, they represent only 7.9% of all MPs, against 14% of the British population. There are still too few opportunities for BAME people to enter British politics at all levels.

“Parliament is supposed to set an example to the rest of society. We should be showing that we are willing to tackle issues of lack of diversity head on.

“Although advances in gender balance have been made partly through all-women shortlists, we still have this loophole that all-BAME shortlists are not allowed.

“I have written to Damian Green, the de facto deputy prime minister, calling on him to close this loophole through legislation. It is time to unify the country by giving everyone the opportunity to move up in life.”

In the last general election held in 2106, the Lib Dems became the first party to pick a prospective parliamentary candidate from an all-disabled shortlist when Stephen Lloyd was selected for Eastbourne. He regained the seat at this year’s general election with a majority of 1,609 and is now the party’s Spokesperson for Work & Pensions.

 

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