Friday 24 November 2017

UK set to have record number of female MPs after more than 200 elected

Amber Rudd Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Amber Rudd Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Richard Wheeler and Ian Jones

The UK parliament will have its highest-ever number of female MPs following the General Election.

The 2017 intake has surpassed 200, outnumbering the 196 women elected to the House of Commons in the last Parliament after the 2015 election and subsequent by-elections.

The previous high of 191 women elected in a single general election, which occurred in 2015, has therefore also been beaten.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd is said to be the candidate whose re-election took the 2017 figure to 192, as she narrowly defended her Hastings and Rye seat following a strong challenge from Labour's Peter Chowney.

It was not until the 2015 parliament that the total number of female MPs in history surpassed the number of male MPs in a single parliament (454).

Read More: Calls for Theresa May to quit as snap election delivers hung parliament

Britain's Primer Minister Theresa May and her husband Philip leave a polling station in Sonning, Britain, June 8, 2017. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh
Britain's Primer Minister Theresa May and her husband Philip leave a polling station in Sonning, Britain, June 8, 2017. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh

Constance Markievicz became the first woman elected to the Commons in 1918 following the Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act, which allowed women to stand as candidates.

She did not take her seat as she was a member of Sinn Fein.

Conservative Nancy Astor was the first woman to take her seat in the Commons after winning a by-election in December 1919 for the Plymouth Sutton constituency.

Read More: Hung parliament: What it could mean for Brexit negotiations

Press Association

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