Cameron faces an exodus of women MPs

Jessica Lee: Fourth female Tory MP to step down from 2010 intake
Jessica Lee: Fourth female Tory MP to step down from 2010 intake
Ian Dunt By

The trickle of women MPs leaving parliament threatened to become a flood today, after another from the 2010 intake announced she would not stand in 2015.

Jessica Lee joins Louise Mensch, Lorraine Fullbrook and Laura Sandys from the 2010 intake to say they will not be standing for parliament again, raising questions about the continuing male-dominated culture in the parliamentary Conservative party.

"I'm extremely sad to announce that I've taken the really difficult decision not to stand for re-election at the general election in May 2015," she said in a statement.

"I have carefully considered my personal circumstances and responsibilities at this time, before taking this decision.


"I will remain, carrying out my duties to my constituents, full time and fully committed as the Conservative member of parliament for Erewash until my successor is elected in May 2015."

Lee overturned a Labour majority of over 7,000 to win the Derbyshire by 2,501 votes in 2010.

With Lee gone, 11% of newly elected female MPs have announced their intention to stand down.

Meanwhile, David Cameron is understood to be frustrated at resistance from local Tory associations to pick female candidates for the 2015 election.

Lee was a barrister specialising in child protection and adoption cases but she became a Commons aide to attorney general Dominic Grieve in parliament.

Just 16% of Tory MPs are women, compared to 31% of Labour. The Liberal Democrat figure is even worse, standing at just 12%.

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