Posts Tagged ‘women’s PLP’

Fiona MacTaggart’s email to Tory MP Mary MacLeod

14/10/2010, 06:30:04 PM

It is expressed with subtlety and elegance, but the message from Fiona MacTaggart to new Tory MP, Mary MacLeod, is clear: if you’ve got more than a tokenistic interest in the cause of women in Parliament, join the Labour party.

Sent: 13 October 2010 15:11
Subject: APPG women in parliament

Dear Mary,

Thank you for your invitation to become a founding member of an APPG women in parliament.  I am writing to decline the invitation and to explain why.

AS you are a new member you may not be aware of the existence of the women’s Parliamentary Labour Party, which I chair, and which has been a powerful force for change on issues ranging from women’s representation in our party to hours and facilities in the house.

My experience of non party groups, such as the 300 group, on these issues has been that they have not been able to have the same impact as party based networks and I would be reluctant to support a move which risks over time diluting the effective work which PLP women have accomplished.  Now that there are a greater number of women on the Coalition government benches I would really welcome a stronger voice for you within your party and my belief is that this is the best strategy for advancing the cause of women in parliament.  Our party based groups can then work together within our parties and across parties, and also with the women in smaller parties.  I have been acutely aware that every political group which only has one representative, is represented by a women and have tried to include them in appropriate activities.

I would have hoped to discuss this with colleagues at a PLP women’s meeting but unfortunately your email was sent 10 minutes after the end of our last meeting and we are not due to have another one for nearly three weeks,  a longer gap than we normally have, because that meeting is due to elect a new chair following my appointment to the front bench.

In the meantime I would like to meet you, with other officers of the PLP women’s group to discuss how PLP women can best work with women in other parties.  We have already done so on specific issues, eg IPSA  and its impact on women and families.

I am circulating this response to colleagues to make them aware of my response.

Yours ever

Fiona Mactaggart Chair PLP women.

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