Commons speaker John Bercow has called for renewed efforts to increase the the number of female journalists in the parliamentary press gallery.
In a speech made at the Vote 100 reception in Westminster Hall on Tuesday, Bercow said “more must be done” to tackle a range of issues affecting women both in and out of parliament, Politico has reported.
The event, which was attended by several politicians including Prime Minister Theresa May, was in celebration of 100 years of the Representation of the People Act giving some Women the right to vote.
Bercow was reported in Politico’s London Playbook as saying: “More must be done to help more women get elected to parliament, more women to obtain high office in parliament, more women to be appointed in senior positions in the staff of our parliament, and yes – more women given the chance to serve in the press gallery of our parliament.”
His speech was reportedly met with “roars” of approval from attendees.
The press gallery and the lobby are both chaired by women, but as Politico’s Jack Blanchard points out, “the proportion of men to women in the press gallery is probably even worse than in the House of Commons”.
Bercow, a Tory MP, has been the speaker of the House of Commons since 2009.
Picture: Reuters/Hannah McKay