Speaking at The Grand Mawlid (Peace Conference) in Birmingham today in front of an expected 4,000 audience, Vince Cable will call on the government to change the law so that all-BAME shortlists are allowed for selecting Parliamentary election candidates.
Under the 2010 Equality Act, political parties may field all-women or all-disabled shortlists, but the law does not allow for all-BAME shortlists.
Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable is expected to say:
“There remains a serious lack of diversity in Parliament.
“There are just 51 BAME MPs. Despite being a record total, they represent only 7.9% of all MPs, against 14% of the British population. There are still too few opportunities for BAME people to enter British politics at all levels.
“Parliament is supposed to set an example to the rest of society. We should be showing that we are willing to tackle issues of lack of diversity head on.
“Although advances in gender balance have been made partly through all-women shortlists, we still have this loophole that all-BAME shortlists are not allowed.
“I have written to Damian Green, the de facto deputy prime minister, calling on him to close this loophole through legislation. It is time to unify the country by giving everyone the opportunity to move up in life.”