Nick Clegg Has Taken A Brilliant Pop At The Sexist Coverage Of Cabinet Reshuffle

Deputy Prime Minister posts his outfit of the day to show the Daily Mail how ridiculous it is for them to have judged all of the new women entering the cabinet in the reshuffle by their clothing...


by Sophie Wilkinson |
Published on

Nick Clegg, whose biggest political statement as yet was to renege on his promise to tackle university tuition fees and instead allow them to rise to £9,000 a year, hasn’t exactly stolen our hearts since becoming Deputy Prime Minister. But today, he’s actually got us all conflicted because he’s gone and done something really cool by posting his outfit of the day on his Twitter account.

Sounds weird, yes. But just FYI, here's the context – yesterday, David Cameron announced the Cabinet reshuffle, which saw seven women promoted to its ranks – or at least given access to some Cabinet meetings – in an attempt to win over female voters. This means there are now 25 men in the Cabinet (or allowed to attend Cabinet meetings) and seven women. An achievement of sorts.

Anyway, the Daily Mail’s way of covering the story was to put a full-length photo of new Employment Minister Esther McVey on the front page, followed by a piece called ‘Esther, the queen of the Downing Street Catwalk’ and then discussed each of the women – Liz Truss, Penny Mourdant, Nicky Morgan, Priti Patel, Anna Soubry, Lady Stowell, Claire Perry and Amber Rudd (some of whom aren’t even in the Cabinet proper) – based on their fashion choices. With no mention of their previous achievements, for better or worse (Nicky Morgan is Minister for Womendespite being anti-abortion, Priti Patel has spoken out in favour of the death penalty), it showed perhaps why so few women look to get involved in politics. So no, we're not linking to it.

In response to this belittling of women in politics, Nick Clegg had a photo taken of himself outside Downing Street, wearing a yellow tie and a blue outfit, captioning it: ‘What I wore to the office today. Fingers crossed the Mail approves. Hope I don't look too “80s cabin attendant.”’

Which basically shows how stupid the Mail is for thinking it could get away with trying to laugh in the face of women in power. And makes Nick Clegg look really cool. Now, if there’s some way David Cameron could pour his curves into some Speedos for a poolside photo op and Ed Miliband could flaunt his long legs for an awaiting paparazzo, we might have a real cross-party agreement on something beyond the fact it’s seen as a pretty good idea to have some women in charge of stuff.

Still, before we feel like this week's Cabinet reshuffle is all Girl Power think about it another way: for every woman there still are 3.5 men in the Cabinet, which is astounding considering women make up half of the population of the country. Which means you'd think those in charge of us should be a little bit like us.

** Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson**

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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