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Women in Power: Milestones

Volume 497: debated on Thursday 22 October 2009

7. What her role was in the compilation of the Government Equalities Office’s recent publication “Women in Power: Milestones”. (294828)

The “Women in Power: Milestones” fact sheet was produced in January 2008 by the Government Equalities Office to mark the 80th anniversary of women’s gaining the franchise in 1918 and the 90th anniversary of the Equal Franchise Act 1928. The fact sheet was cleared through internal channels and officials only, not by Ministers. [Hon. Members: “Ah!”] It is true, though.

We shall be publishing an updated fact sheet shortly, but there will be a new one today which will interest the hon. Gentleman. It is about black, Asian and ethnic-minority women in public life, because we are now in black history month.

—and the longest-serving Prime Minister of the 20th century, and one of this country’s greatest ever Prime Ministers, would the Solicitor-General like to apologise to the House for the fact that her name was omitted from the fact sheet that her Department published?

It is a pity that she was missed out. I am prepared to go that far but not much further, since she did not do a great deal to advance the cause of women. I really do not think that the hon. Gentleman has a political point. [Interruption.] I have made it very clear that the fact sheet did not come to Ministers. If Members would listen instead of just shouting, they would realise that there is no political point here. The first woman Speaker was a Labour Member, and I am afraid that she was missed out, too. So it really is not about politics, and the hon. Gentleman is barking up the wrong tree.