Equalities minister opposes female Cabinet quota

Caroline Dinenage told MPs she is not in favour of quotas. Picture: Gettyimages
Caroline Dinenage told MPs she is not in favour of quotas. Picture: Gettyimages
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DAVID Cameron should not follow Nicola Sturgeon’s lead and appoint an equal number of men and women to his Cabinet, an equalities minister has said.

Conservative frontbencher Caroline Dinenage told MPs she is not in favour of quotas, adding it was known all the women in ministerial posts and in the Cabinet are there on merit.

The SNP’s Richard Arkless (Dumfries and Galloway) had asked for the Prime Minister to follow First Minister Ms Sturgeon’s example in Scotland.

He told Ms Dinenage: “Despite the lauded progress that has apparently been made, still only 26 per cent of the 110 Government posts are occupied by women.

“Do you not agree that it would be a fine time to follow the example of the Scottish government and persuade the Prime Minister to create a gender-balanced Cabinet?”

Ms Dinenage replied: “Well, we have made enormous progress on that - now a third of the Cabinet are female.

“But I don’t like the idea of quotas - I may speak for myself in that, but I don’t like anybody thinking that the women that are here or the women in our Cabinet are only there because we took men out of the equation.

“We know all the women here and all the women that are in our Cabinet are there on their own merits.”