Speaking out and speaking up: The Class of May 2010 – the new Conservative women MPs

For immediate release

May 28th 2010

Women’s Parliamentary Radio

Speaking out and speaking up: The Class of May 2010 – the new Conservative women MPs

Four of the newly elected Conservative Women MPs have set out their agendas in the new Parliament of 2010.

Esther McVey MP, Karen Lumley MP, Priti Patel MP and Lorriane Fullbrook MP  have spoken of their support for  David Cameron’s and Nick Clegg’s Queen’s Speech and the £60 billion of cuts to the public sector deficit. At the same time they have spoken up for the need to give top priority to promoting local business and industry in their constituencies.

While supporting the women’s and families agenda set out in the Speech to promote flexible working across all age groups and to pursue further avenues to reduce the pay gap for women, they say that they will ensure that men’s issues are given a voice too where they are single parents and breadwinners on their own.

When questioned about the earlier announcement by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition that defendants in rape trials would be granted anonymity they said they would fight for justice for the victims of crimes and that they wanted to ensure those convicted were given appropriate sentences.

All spoke to Boni Sones OBE, Executive Producer, of www.wpradio.co.uk in two head to head interviews.

The Queen’s Speech – Flexible working, equal pay, changes to the rape laws.

Esther McVey the Conservative MP for Wirral West, a television presenter and businesswoman said:

“Freedom, fairness and personal responsibility, were the principles underpinning this Queen’s Speech. David Cameron was very strong on Flexible Working hours saying let’s have that as a World leader paving the way forward, and it is difficult if you are a woman looking after children and parents. We need to look at why are families breaking down, what’s the best for children, what’s the best support network? It can only be good for Society.”

On the pay gap she said: “If you are doing the same job as a chap, of course you should be getting paid the same amount, I guess for so long people have not known what others are paid. I ran the biggest business network in the NW now called “Forward Ladies” and they have been lobbying for that.”

On crime, Esther McVey MP said: “I have worked with Families Fighting For Justice set up by a mum Jean Taylor whose son and daughter were killed and they want sentences that reflect the crime. They want tougher sentencing and education in schools, so I will be working on these.”

On rape law changes she said: “Any crime that goes unpunished is a travesty, the victims need to feel they are being listened to.”

Karen Lumley the Conservative MP for Redditch, an accountant and businesswoman who was the youngest Tory group leader in Wrexham said:

“I was delighted to see the fact we are going to recognise marriage again in the tax system that was a big vote winner in Redditch, and flexible working and caring will definitely be liked; it will allow people to look after their children and go out to work too. I do really welcome this and David’s views on getting new investment in and tax breaks too.”

On her forthcoming Maiden Speech she said: “ I want to make reference to education, in Redditch we are the fourth lowest funded County in the Country and we get less than others and that is not fair and we need to address that.

“Anybody would be nervous….being here is amazing and this was my third go at fighting the Redditch seat.”

Their Maiden Speeches – the local economy

Lorraine Fullbrook the Conservative MP for South Ribble the former Executive Director of the Women2Win campaign and a former local councillor and businesswoman said:

“I will be looking at defence and the workers in South Ribble. Many of my constituents work for BAE systems and the defence industry and they will find in me a strong defender and supporter, I will be fighting on their behalf.

“Horticulture is another issue where we need to look at the infrastructure to get the goods to market, government imposed taxes, vehicle excise duty, fuel duty, business taxes are making life difficult for these people and they grow our food.”

Lorraine Fullbrook MP said her constituents liked the new coalition government:

“My constituents are very pleased with the way we have taken this coalition forward and they feel their vote has counted. They do understand about the cuts, that we are all in this together and there is a belief that we are able to deliver.”

On gender issues she said: “Single fathers need as much help as single mother’s do, there are many women serving in our military in Afghanistan who have husbands back here so it is not just about wives it’s wives and husbands too on these issues.”

On rape law changes she said: “I am concerned about the low conviction rates in rape cases and that has to come down to policing policies.”

Priti Patel the Conservative MP for Witham a former press and PR advisor and an economics graduate said:

“I have some serious roads the A12 and A120 that are in a terrible condition and if housing is increased and population it will put severe pressure on our infrastructure. I will be campaigning on this.

“I come from a family of independent retailers and I will be talking about the role of the independent retailers who have been clobbered by too much red tape and taxes, we need to enable these people to get on and be the business contributors again.”

She said there was support for the £60 billion cuts package in her constituency:

“People do recognise there isn’t a credit card saying HM Government, people do understand that something has to give but they are looking for fairness in the decision making as to where the cuts fall.”

On gender issues she said: “It is about making the case for how you reach that decision I would not look at things from a gender based position it is about advocacy and I want to hear all points of view.”


  1. Wpradio.co.uk is a web based broadcaster supported by all parties. It has over 200 interviews with women and male politicians of all parties which can be listened to online or downloaded as podcasts.
  1. In March 2010 monthly visits jumped to 3,847 visitors, and 73,796 hits. That’s over double the same period last year. Page views have increased by a corresponding amount. And February 2010 had the highest ever bandwidth usage with 120 Gigabytes downloaded.
  1. Our web stats show that our visitors are loyal, they return, tune in for some time and to more than one item. We have doubled our audience in a year.
  1. wpradio also carries international content and has interviews with women MEPs in Europe, and women politicians in Africa and the Middle East.
  1. Our supporters include Harriet Harman MP, Theresa May MP and Jo Swinson MP and many other female politicians listed on our site.
  1. The British Library archives all the interviews on wpradio.co.uk in its new web collection.
  1. For more information contact Boni Sones OBE on 07703 716961.


Women’s Parliamentary Radio election features for 2010


Women’s Parliamentary Radio

For immediate release

May 14th 2010

Women’s Parliamentary Radio election features for 2010

Women’s Parliamentary Radio has completed its profile of the General Election of 2010 with three new features interviewing the newly elected women to Westminster, across party, and those in charge of election night itself.

This follows our profile of the four women PPCs who fought for one seat Brighton Pavilion – eventually won by Caroline Lucas of the Green Party! And our “exclusive” coverage of the Liberal Democrats hustings in Cambridge at the beginning of the year when the party selected a new candidate Julia Huppert from a gender balanced short-list. Julian went on to win Cambridge for his party.

The new faces on the block!

Helen Grant MP Conservative and Rushanara Ali MP Labour.

Helen Grant the Conservative MP for Maidstone & The Weald and Rushanara Ali the Labour MP for Bethnal Green & Bow are two of the new faces at Westminster. Helen is the first black female MP for the Conservative Party and Rushanara Ali is the first Bangladeshi MP.

They are two of the 142 women MPs in Westminster, an increase of 16, just 22 per cent of the total, and both have already compiled a “list” of the issues they will champion on behalf of other women and their constituencies. Boni Sones OBE, Executive Producer, spoke to them shortly after they attended a photocall in Westminster Hall of all the new faces.

Caroline Lucas, Green Party and the 2010 Election result for women

Congratulations to Caroline Lucas the first Green MP to be elected to Westminster for Brighton Pavilion and the only woman leader of a party in Britain.

Caroline is interviewed here by Anne Garvey and Boni Sones OBE for a special feature on her work.

There are now 142 women MPs in Westminster, 22 per cent of the total of 649, an increase of 16. The number of female Conservative MPs went from 18 to 48. Labour now has 81 women MPs, down 13, and the Lib Dems have 7, down 2. Congratulations to Labour’s first three Muslim women Shabana Mahmood, Yasmin Qureshi and Rushanara Ali and Chi Onwurah the first woman of African descent to win a seat. For the Conservative’s Helen Grant is the first black female MP, and congratulations too to Priti Patel, the daughter of a Ugandan refugee.

A Day in the Life of a CEO and Town Clerk on Election day

They’re off. It’s the day of the General Election and Antoinette Jackson is the Chief Executive of Cambridge City Council, one of a few women who run councils in Britain. She’s spent months planning the fine detail of getting voters registered, staffing the 42 polling booths and getting volunteers to count the votes after the polls close at 10 pm. The results will be declared about 2.30 to 3am in the morning. Accuracy, says Ms Jackson, is essential. And there’s local elections too. She spoke to our Executive Producer of wpradio.co.uk, Boni Sones OBE.

And eight-year-old Imogen Rodgers, has managed to read ALL the election literature that has come through her door. Boni caught up with Imogen at the Good Shepherd Church Hall.

The candidates in Cambridge were: Martin Booth, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition; Peter Burkinshaw, UK Independence Party; Nick Hillman, Conservative; Julian Huppert, Liberal Democrat; Tony Juniper, Green Party; Holborn Old, Independent; Daniel Zeichner, Labour.