Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting MG NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Call to bridge the gender gap in Parliament
AN equality-minded Malvern man has launched a revolutionary bid to bridge the gender gap in Parliament.
Bill Morgan, a 65-year-old retired businessman from Barnards Green, is petitioning the cabinet office to scrap the current electoral system of 650 constituencies and replace it with 300 double- sized constituencies that would each return two MPs - one of them male and one female.
Of the 650 MPs in Parliament at present only 146 are women and Mr Morgan feels the country is missing out on a lot of expertise because of this.
“Over the years it has become abundantly clear to me that women are a massively underused resource in this country,” he said.
“My own mother was born in the 1920s and won a scholarship to a grammar school but unfortunately my grandfather was very old-fashioned and forced her out of school when she was only 14 to work.
“I have never forgotten the frustration that she experienced and as I grew up I became more and more aware of the quality that women have to offer.”
Mr Morgan was inspired to launch his petition due to the ongoing discussions over boundary changes and electoral reform.
He has registered it on the government’s website and hopes it attracts the 100,000 signatures it needs to trigger a debate.
“Our population is pretty much a 50-50 split between men and women and it makes perfect sense to have equality in representation,”
“It is not just a case of equality, I think that this balanced approach would be a huge benefit to the system and the people living under it.
“We could end up with a system which, in the mother of all Parliaments, sets a fantastic example to the rest of the world.”
Mr Morgan’s petition has already won the backing of West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin.
She said: “I certainly share Mr Morgan’s goal of reducing the number of MPs and I will be voting later this year for a reduction to 600.
“I also want to see an increase in the number of women in Parliament.
“I wish Mr Morgan the best of luck with his interesting idea and his e-petition and I hope he can reach 100,000 signatures soon so that it can be debated in Parliament.”
To sign the petition visit http://epetitions.direct.gov.