Vile abuse towards female MPs must be stamped out if more women are to be elected to Parliament - The Yorkshire Post says

The statue of Nancy Astor, the first female MP, which was unveiled in Plymouth, Devon. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
The statue of Nancy Astor, the first female MP, which was unveiled in Plymouth, Devon. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

IT is a century since the first female MP entered Parliament, a milestone commemorated by the unveiling of a statue of that great trailblazer, Nancy Astor.

Yet in the 100 years that have passed since then, progress on electing more women to the Commons has not been quick enough.

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Whatever the outcome of next month’s General Election, the green benches will still be predominantly male.

Despite Britain having had two female Prime Ministers, women remain under-represented.

Political parties across the spectrum have acknowledged this, and made efforts to address it, but far more needs to be done.

Boris Johnson admitted as much yesterday as he outlined plans for women to account for half of Conservative candidates in future elections.

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That is as it should be, reflecting as it does the gender balance of the population.

But if the number of female MPs is to increase, there must also be action on a broader front.

The end of the last Parliament saw a large and regrettable exodus of talented women with 
much to have still contributed to our politics, whether in or out of Government.

The principal reason for this was the level of vile abuse and threats to which they were subjected, both on social media and, in some cases, from within their own party.

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This needs to be stamped out – by the police, by the courts and by the parties themselves, because for women to be effectively terrorised out of being MPs is intolerable.