Labour leadership hustings
Will you support the 50:50 ratio of male and female members of the shadow cabinet (and hopefully later the Cabinet)?
David Miliband: That is the goal. I would start with one third to reflect the current balance of the parliamentary Labour Party, but as we increase the quota of women Labour MPs, the ratio in the cabinet would also increase. This is more than an issue of rules and quotas. It is about changing the culture of politics so that it is more open to working parents and more reflective of the communities we serve. I aim to create at least one job share in the shadow ministerial team to support flexible working, alongside a women's and equalities minister to champion this agenda. I will campaign to align the hours of the House of Commons more closely to normal working hours so politics doesn't disrupt family life.
Ed Miliband: Yes, absolutely. When I was the first leadership candidate to support 50:50 gender balance in the Shadow Cabinet (and Cabinet) I was criticised for it, but I'm happy that it is gathering more support. The Labour Party has taken huge strides towards electing more women to Parliament, far more than any other party, and we have many talented female MPs and it's time that their talents and skills were fully utilised in Cabinet. It's not just about 50% of the cabinet being women though; it's also about changing the tone and style of politics, which is something David Cameron said he would do and failed. I will make sure that happens.
Ed Balls: Yes, it's a really important goal, and we should also have a goal of having half of our MPs women, too. That means more than just targets but a culture change in Parliament and the Labour Party and doing more to make sure talented women are supported to get selected and elected. This will take time, but it's the right thing to do.
Diane Abbott: Yes, I do support a 50:50 ratio for men and women in the Shadow Cabinet.
Andy Burnham: As Leader, I will ensure that the proportion of women in both Cabinet and other ministerial roles is, as a minimum, proportionate to the number of women in the Parliamentary Labour Party.
In addition, I will introduce training and mentoring for our newly elected MPs, councillors, AMs, MSPs and MEPs, not just for women but for younger members and those from the BAME community for whom the support has too often simply not been available. Labour must also continue the great progress made with all-women shortlists to ensure there are a great number of women in Parliament and on the Labour benches.