Boris Johnson: "To unleash our full potential, we need women more than ever"

On the 100th anniversary of the first female MP taking her seat in the House of Commons, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has celebrated the contribution of female MPs to our society and political debate.

The Conservative Party has a proud history of supporting women – with Nancy Astor becoming the first female MP to take her seat as a Conservative MP in 1919, a Conservative Government extending the vote to all women over the age of 21 in 1928, and Margaret Thatcher and Theresa May being the only female Prime Ministers Britain has had, heading up Conservative Governments.

With recent rates of women in work reaching a record high, the Conservative Manifesto sets out a strong message of how a Conservative majority Government will continue to support women to unleash their full potential – be that through measures to help with the cost of living, investment in public services or increasing access to start up loans to help them start their own business.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

“When Nancy Astor entered Parliament 100 years ago she was a trailblazer, ripping up the conventions that held women back from joining the workplace.

“A Conservative majority Government will support women to reach their full potential – be that in the workplace, by opening up new opportunities to work flexibly or start their own business, or through our work internationally to make sure all young women get 12 years of education.

“The Conservative Party has a proud history supporting women in public life, and we have recently seen more women in work than ever before. This is fantastic news for employers as the pool of skills and talent broadens and deepens.

“It is imperative that the Conservative Party benefits from this pool of talent in the same way as other employers. Whilst we might have led the way in terms of female representation, it is vital we keep that up. That is why I am committing to the biggest drive of female member, activist and candidate recruitment, and why it is my ambition that half of Conservative candidates on our list for future parliamentary elections are women. I have often said that talent and brilliance is equally distributed, but opportunity is not. I will make sure that women are supported to take up the opportunities that politics present.”