The Liberal Democrats have begun pushing for a new law to ensure elected bodies like Parliament “actually reflect the diverse communities they serve”.
Wera Hobhouse, MP for Bath and the Party’s Equalities Spokesperson, presented a Bill in Parliament on Wednesday 14th October which, if passed, would change the law to give political parties the option to allow all ethnic-minority shortlists for candidates seeking election to public office.
The move comes just days after the party passed a motion at its conference, arguing for all public bodies, from the police to the judiciary, to be given targets for improving the diversity of their workforce.
Liberal Democrat Equalities spokesperson Wera Hobhouse said: “We have seen the amazing power of all-women shortlists to massively increase the number of women MPs.
“Now we must do the same to improve the representation of black and other ethnic minority communities.
“To tackle institutional racism and build a truly inclusive society, we need to make sure our institutions reflect modern Britain.
“But we fall woefully short at the moment, as too many decisions in selecting candidates are unfortunately still influenced by unconscious bias.
“Real change requires positive action. My bill to allow political parties to use all-ethnic minority shortlists to select candidates for public office would bring us one step closer to building parliaments, councils and other representative bodies that actually reflect the diverse communities they serve.
“The Liberal Democrats will always challenge racism and discrimination of any kind. I urge MPs across the House of Commons to show they are on the right side of history and back this Bill.”