Campaign encourages more women to stand for public office

Hastings student Georgia Harrison was at the forefront of a national campaign last week when she met her local MP in the Palace of Westminster.

Amber Rudd had asked Georgia, a Hastings student at Sussex Coast College, to join her in Parliament for the #AskHerToStand day. The event is aimed at trying to get more women to stand for election.

Georgia was able to meet the Hastings MP who was recently promoted back in to the cabinet as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and shadow her whole she did her job as an MP. Georgia was able to watch Prime Ministers Questions and attend Select Committees among other events.

Amber Rudd and Georgia Harrison
Georgia Harrison and Amber Rudd in the corridors of the Palace of Westminster last week.

Only one in three MPs are female and the UK has only had 491 female MPs compared to 4,503 men since it became possible for women to stand for public office.

Last week’s #AskHerToStand event was organised by Frances Scott, Helen Pankhurst, the Centenary Action Group, the Fawcett Society, and the Jo Cox Foundation.

Ms Rudd said afterwards: “We need to see more women standing for public office and this starts with encouragement and support. I was pleased to take part in this event and welcome Georgia up to Parliament. I originally met her in Hastings and was impressed with her political involvement, so I felt she would enjoy this event.”

Georgia had been happy to accept the MP’s invitation up to Parliament she said: “It was certainly inspirational to see, almost 300 women from Parliamentary constituencies getting together to encourage women to stand for public office.

”I also enjoyed seeing the Palace of Westminster and catching up with Amber.”

Frances Scott, Director of 50:50 Parliament who helped organise the day was delighted with the turnout: “On the centenary of when women were first ever able to stand it is wonderful that so many MPs participated in our #AskHerToStand day by inviting a women to Parliament. It is a clear demonstration that Westminster does welcome women,” she said.

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