David Cameron ‘open’ to all-women shortlists on eve of reshuffle [Guardian]

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Prime minister expected to promote a number of women, as he moves to project a modern and diverse face of the Tory party.

David Cameron is open to the idea of the eventual introduction of all-women shortlists on a voluntary basis, senior Tory sources have said, amid fears that the party could fail to boost its number of female MPs at next year’s general election.

On the eve of his final planned reshuffle before the election, in which the prime minister is expected to promote a number of women, the controversial issue of all-women shortlists returns to the agenda as a cross-party group raises the prospect of “prescriptive quotas”.

The all-party parliamentary group on women in parliament, whose inquiry is supported by the speaker, John Bercow, issues its findings as the prime minister moved to project a modern and diverse face of the Tory party with his final big reshuffle before the election.

Cameron, who hosted allies at a summer barbecue at Chequers on Sunday, will embark on the first stages of his reshuffle Monday evening when, in the Commons, he meets ministers who face the sack.

It is understood that many ministers have prepared the ground by suggesting to him they would leave office in the last pre-election reshuffle.

The prime minister is planning to say goodbye to old hands such as the former chancellor Kenneth Clarke, chief whip Sir George Young, and Commons leader, Andrew Lansley.

Cameron is expected to start the second phase of his reshuffle on Tuesday when new arrivals and promoted ministers walk along Downing Street in the full glare of the cameras to meet him. The usual Tuesday morning meeting of the cabinet has been cancelled to allow for the reshuffle.

Esther McVey, the employment minister, Nicky Morgan, the women’s minister, and Liz Truss, the childcare minister, are all expected to be given promotion. The prime minister will also name Britain’s next European commissioner, allowing him to sell the name to the incoming European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, when they meet on the fringes of an EU summit in Brussels on Wednesday.

See More: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jul/14/david-cameron-open-to-female-only-shortlists-tories

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