Brighton MP calls for job-sharing rethink

Posted On 05 Sep 2017 at 6:33 pm

MPs should be able to job-share, according to Caroline Lucas, the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion.

Ms Lucas already shares the leadership of her party with Jonathan Bartley and believes that the practice should be extended.

She was speaking at a parliamentary reception for the Fawcett Society which campaigns for women’s rights.

The society published a pamphlet called “Open House?” today (Tuesday 5 September), looking at the case for and against having job-sharing MPs.

Two women hoped to stand jointly for election to the House of Commons on the Green Party ticket at the 2015 general election.

But their hopes were dashed by the returning officer and, when they challenged the decision, by a High Court judge.

Caroline Lucas said in one of the cross-party forewords to the pamphlet: “Job-sharing has so much potential to open up our politics and make it more plural and more progressive.

“It represents a chance to put our MPs closer in touch with the real world.

“We were told that job-sharing was no good for all sorts of professions, from doctors to lawyers, and in each case the doubters were proved wrong – and it has worked for me as one half of the Green Party leadership job-share.

“I hope this report helps to bring us closer to job-share MPs being a reality.”

She said today: “It would help more women into politics, more disabled people and more people for whom being an MP is currently unimaginable and inaccessible.”

The pamphlet – a collection of essays – has been edited by two professors, Rosie Campbell and Sarah Childs. Professor Childs studied politics at Sussex University.

To read the pamphlet, click here.

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