Doncaster MP wants more women

Despite Doncaster MP Ed Miliband’s push to fill half of his cabinet with women, the actual number in government is falling short.
Ed Miliband.Ed Miliband.
Ed Miliband.

Only six of 40 public appointments made by the Ministry of Defence this year have gone to females despite a parliamentary push to fill at least half of vacancies with women.

Although the overall proportion across Whitehall is rising - hitting 44 per cent in the first half of this year - many departments are falling well short and several have gone backwards.

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Labour said this month’s figures showed the government was set to miss its 50 per cent aim - with ten departments performing worse last year than in the previous 12 months.

Shadow equalities minister Gloria de Piero said: “David Cameron and Nick Clegg claim they want more women at the top of society but their government’s actions tell a different story.

“They are failing on their commitment to gender equality in government appointments and preside over a cabinet that’s two-thirds male. A Labour government in contrast will lead by example. Ed Miliband has said he wants 50 per cent of his cabinet to be women, and we will govern in the interests of women, from introducing 25 hours free childcare for three and four-year-olds of working parents, or pay transparency to tackle the gender pay gap.”

But a cabinet office spokesman insisted it was “on track” to achieve 50 per cent.