Monday August 20, 2018
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PERSONAL, UNDILUTED VIEWS FROM TOM WINNIFRITH

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Putting Peter Tatchell on the spot - should there be fewer gay MPs?

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- Tom Winnifrith

Let's be clear, Peter Tatchell is a heroic campaigner for free speech and LGBT rights and, as I have noted before, he is a hero of mine. But he seems unable to answer a question I posed him last night? It is very simple.

Tatch points out that 100 years after the suffragettes, women are still heavily under represented in Parliament. About a third of MPs are female and Tatchell demands that we have a "co-equal Parliament that reflects society." So Tatch wants half MPs to be female to reflect society. Fair enough if that is his stated goal.

So what about LGBT representation? The ONS says that fewer than 3% of the population is LGBT but more than 6% of MPs are openly gay. I bet there are a few more in the closet. So does Tatch reckon that half those MPs should stand down to "reflect society"?

If he does not I wonder if he'd care to say just how over-represented the LGBT community should be and on what basis?

Personally I am not so keen on quotas, preferring a meritocracy to deliver the best candidates for every job, but it is Tatch who wants Parliament to reflect society. Or does he?

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