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Helen is woman MP 172 – and has number to prove it

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WARRINGTON North MP Helen Jones was the 172nd woman to be elected to Parliament – and she has an official number to prove it.
The election of a woman in the recent by-election in Copeland resulted in the total number of female MPs ever elected – 458 – for the first time exceeding the number of male MPs sitting in Parliament.
Ms Jones said: “We still have much to do to encourage women to stand for parliament. Eighty years on from the first woman being elected and I became only the 172nd woman MP.
“Although there has been considerable progress in the last 20 years, it has taken 100 years for the number of women ever elected to pass the number of male MPs sitting in any one parliament.”
The first woman to be elected was Constance Markievicz in December 1918. She was a Sinn Fein MP who did not take her seat.
American-born Nancy Astor became the first elected woman MP to take her seat – elected on 15 November 1919 as a Conservative.
Ms Jones said: “We must continue to encourage women to involve themselves in politics and stand for election at all levels.
“However, in doing so we need to recognise that wanting to stand does not mean that should open you up to being abused, threatened or accused of all sorts of misdemeanours as currently happens to women politicians, often anonymously, on social media.
“That kind of behaviour is unacceptable and puts many women off seeking to serve their communities. The cowardly trolls, who engage in this behaviour, not only demean themselves but also serve to damage our democracy. I hope and believe that the number of women being elected will increase and that people will engage them in political debate rather than the type of vile personal campaigns that have been orchestrated against many of my colleagues currently serving in Parliament.”

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  1. Whoa, it’s Helen again! Her back office team are seemingly going hell for leather with stories about her right now! I just hope that they are claiming the overtime! But what an excellent suggestion by Helen. “We must continue to encourage women to involve themselves in politics and stand for election at all levels”. Is this recognition from Helen that time has is about to be called on her two decades long parliamentary career and now it’s time to step aside gracefully? Is this some kind of endorsement of Cllr Cathy Mitchell to replace her now as MP? If true, then that’s the way to go sister!

  2. Helen has been and still is an excellent MP. There is no groundswell for her to go any time soon. She will undoubtedly be reselected by the members of WNCLP and will continue until she herself chooses to retire. So ambitious local aspirants will have to wait. But Warrington North is a very safe seat (even safer because of the programme of constant campaigning over the past 20 years, led by her excellent HQ staff) and at Borough Council level is now a Tory-free zone. Only at Parish Council level do we find a smattering of Tories, elected on a personal basis. So we don’t need to be parochial when the time comes to select our next parliamentary candidate (Helen came from Chester and kept her promise to move into the constituency). We should look wider to find a candidate who would represent the minorities who are still under-represented at Westminster. Ideally she should be black and openly gay.

    • “Borough Council level is now a Tory-free zone”

      That’s not true is it Peter? I won’t use the L word because you may be mistaken. But then again, you should also be open about your political role if you’re going to make statements that aren’t correct.

      As for electing candidates based on their identity, we need the best candidates we can get, not just a tick box exercise in quotas. I think most people couldn’t care less the ethnicity or sexual orientation of candidates, just their ability to do a job.

    • Peter
      A noble defence of her no doubt and party members maybe aware of your loyalty towards Helen over many years. I am assuming that you have been primed to write this. But putting that aside. Firstly, the groundswell has started and it started prior to the last general election in 2015. A number of branches refused to re-affirm her. More and more members who as you know are the backbone of branches, are now questioning whether they can continue to support her. Secondly. Constant campaigning? Or just constant press releases designed to create the impression of an ever busy MP. But is that the actual reality? Moving on perhaps you can demonstrate some evidence of just what she has done for town and its folk since 1997? Specifics that is. Not generalisms.But specifics. I’m struggling to name one; however I am willing to be corrected. That’s only fair. And as for Helen dictating a timetable for when she decides to step down then she seems to be suffering from the same delusions as Arsene Wenger is afflicted with!. A refusal to read the writing on the wall and just a determination to hang on by her fingertips to a special job with all its special gold plated perks. She’s yesterday’s woman Peter. And it’s high time that Warrington North looks at an alternative; one prepared to work collaboratively with others amongst other things, and on behalf of the people and for the people. We will no longer tolerate someone who simply works to their divisive agenda. Time for change and an end to bluster.

  3. Some interesting, if slightly random information about UK political history and the sexes, that suddenly degenerates into a rant about what Helen wanted to raise all along. Which seems to be an attack on anyone who dares to question her questionable performances as an MP. Nice try Helen and 10/10 for using a tenuous link to justify what you really wanted to say to your accusers out here. Trying to link an individual being abused, with a constituent simply raising a genuine concern about the practice of you employing members of your family (at considerable cost I might add) is lame and pretty poor all in all. I’d say that was demeaning to the office of that of an MP, but that’s just my opinion. But it would appear that the IPSA parliamentary watchdog have also had similar concerns as they have just taken a decision that at the next election, newly elected MP’s will no longer be able to continue with this shabby outdated practice that you engage in. Apparently in response to the current French political scandal playing out concerning Monsieur Fillon (allegations that he employed his family members in fake jobs on high salaries) and the dawning realisation that this could well be the next big scandal to hit parliament following the expenses row. You might not be the only MP to practice this but that doesn’t excuse it. There is also a clear barb hinting at apparent misogynistic behaviour. Well that can be rejected immediately by myself ( if that is whom it was aimed at) as I happen to think that Cllr Cathy Mitchell would make a great replacement for you. Mine and others displeasure with you is related to your conduct. Not your gender. Simple as. And my defence in retaining my anonymity is quite simple and I don’t consider it to be cowardly. As a local Labour party member I am only too aware of the price to be paid if you voice any concerns about your performance. On just how you operate as an MP, and how you interact with local members as well as the public. You tend to pay the heavy price of getting kicked out of the party. Many others as you will be aware off; can testify to that very treatment over the years. And I have no desire for the same thing to happen to me. Therefore I choose to remain the shadows. I’d finish by saying that you’d do well Helen to stop lashing out at all and sundry, conducting your usual finger pointing exercises ( which you could trademark, as they happen so often) and instead engage in some calm reflection over the growing criticism of yourself, and start to begin the steps to remediate it.

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