One of the most remarkable changes to Labour’s organisation during the 1990s was the increased representation of women at every level of the party. This had a profound impact both on Labour’s culture and its external image. Nothing was more symbolic of the party’s ‘newness’ than the image of Tony Blair as prime minister with the massed ranks of 101 Labour women MPs in May 1997. Yet the reforms that brought this situation about had not been championed by Blair, nor indeed by Neil Kinnock. Both leaders had been distinctly lukewarm about the proposals for women’s quotas which transformed the face of the party (though John Smith was far more positive).
KeywordsArena Ethos Harman Lester Concession
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