The issue of women candidates has proved a pretty divisive one in recent months, but I have just heard about one development that should meet with universal support from all quarters of the Tory Party. My good friend Lorraine Fullbrook (whose fundraiser persuaded me to drop my boycott of the Carlton Club back in January for one night only!) has this week agreed to take on the role as Executive Director of Women 2 Win on a three day a week basis. This is the organisation set up by Anne Jenkin and Theresa May to help address the lack of women Tory MPs.
Lorraine is a powerful advocate of women getting seats on ability but with the proper training and support. She is in the perfect position having been fast tracked in the key Lancashire marginal seat of South Ribble in October last year. She is already showing just how effective a feisty and determined candidate can be when given the chance, something that her campaign again Police mergers in Lancashire highlighted. I know from conversations I have had with her in the past that having given up a full time job to nurse her seat she is fully aware of the problems faced by many would be candidates. She became Leader of her Council just a year and two days after becoming a councillor and has serious business experience, and what is more she is based in Lancashire rather than London. This really is an inspired appointment.
There are many changes going on at the moment that relate to who will be standing for the Conservative Party at the General Election. This, at least, is one I can wholeheartedly endorse.