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Women in politics: We speak to women in Whitehall

Women in politics: We speak to women in Whitehall


Pamela Nash, MP for Airdrie and Shotts

Pamela Nash
Pamela Nash
Pamela never intended to kickstart her political career at an age when many are just thinking about surviving the working week until Friday night after-work drinks.

But last year, the Labour MP she was working for as a researcher, John Reid, stood down and Pamela was offered the chance to stand in his place. Despite being only 25, the opportunity was, she says, too good to miss. “There’s no greater honour than to represent your home town if you want to be in politics.”

She won the seat and at 27 today still remains the youngest MP in Westminster. You might think that her being half the average age of an MP made for a daunting first few weeks in the House of Commons but Nash insists not. In fact, she is keen to dispel the image of Westminster as fusty and staid.

In her experience the seasoned MPs have been both encouraging and supportive. “Women have the impression that Parliament is intimidating but that’s not the experience I’ve had at all.”

Nash is concerned that many young British women see politics as irrelevant. If young women aren’t voting, how will their needs get addressed by Government, she asks? “It really worries me, when I’m on the campaign trail knocking on doors, the number of young women who say to me oh I don’t vote, politics doesn’t affect my life.”

Overturning political apathy among her peers is clearly one of her priorities. “I’m campaigning in my local constituency all the time. We need to do something to help young women engage.”


Women in Focus Editor
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