Sexism at work in the Spelman scandal?

June 9, 2008 at 11:57 am | Posted in British Politics, Conservative Party | Leave a comment
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An interesting catch from The Guardian:

Friends of Spelman say the unusual arrangements, which will be investigated by the parliamentary standards commissioner, John Lyon, were caused in part by what they describe as the “sexist” demand when she was selected as the Tory candidate in Meriden. Spelman was asked to give an undertaking that she would live in Meriden and educate her children there.

One friend said: “All aspiring MPs are asked if they will live in the constituency. Everyone says yes, they buy a property there and the matter is dealt with. To expect Caroline to educate her kids there as well was the sort of sexist demand women candidates faced in the 1990s.”

Spelman and her husband, Mark, an energy expert, found the requirement burdensome because their lives were centred in London. It is understood that they complied with the demand when their children were young. But they then moved to bigger schools outside Meriden.

This doesn’t explain away the appearance of wrongdoing, but it always seemed peculiar that someone who’d be doing so much work in Westminster wouldn’t have her kids there. There’d be a delicious schadenfreude if it turned out that the constituency party’s overzealous demands had contributed to the mess they now find themselves in.


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