Brexit: Caroline Lucas criticised over all-female cabinet plan


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A Green Party MP has been criticised after supporting an all-women “emergency cabinet” could meet to try to stop a no-deal Brexit.

Criticism in the Guardian, Caroline Lucas said the cross-party group, formed of 10 female officials, could “bring a different perspective”.

Ms Lucas said the cabinet could organise another EU referendum if the PM is overwhelmed in a no-confidence vote.

But cabinet minister Liz Truss criticised the plan as sexist.

Ms Lucas – a latest leader of the Green Party – has also apologised after receiving disapproval for only inviting white women to sit on her proposed group.

In her article, she presented MPs opposed to a no-deal Brexit should try to defeat Boris Johnson in a no-confidence guarantee, then replace him with a “national unity government”.

This groundwork – when a group of MPs from different parties choose to work together – has not been regarded since the Second World War.

An all-female cabinet, she suggested, could then “upon the pause button” and organise another referendum offering a choice between waiting in the EU or the government’s Brexit plan, whether that is an agreed deal or no have to do with.

Women ‘less tribal’

But her idea was criticised by International Trade Secretary Liz Truss, who tweeted: “Is there anything assorted sexist than claiming your gender determines your worldview/conduct/attitude?”

Defending her proposal, Ms Lucas told BBC Radio 5 Live: “It is a generalisation and there are piles of exceptions, but I would argue, generally and in my experience, women tend to be less tribal and gravitate to find it easier to establish trust more quickly.

“I simply wish to see whether or not by bring women together the key women from across Westminster whether or not we could mould a new dynamic,” she added.

“We are facing a crisis. Time is running out.”

Among the gals Ms Lucas has invited to join her are Labour’s shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry, Charitable Democrat leader Jo Swinson, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Tory MP Justine Greening, and Plaid Cymru Westminster leader Liz Saville Roberts.

The others are: Heidi Allen, Kirsty Blackman, Yvette Cooper, Sylvia Hermon, and Anna Soubry. She has quizzed to meet the 10 women in the coming days.

On Monday, Ms Lucas broke the BBC she had received responses from five of the women she has written to, expressing differing uniforms of interest.

She also added that her proposed unity government at ones desire have to be led by a female Labour MP, as they would be representing the largest competition party.

She said she wasn’t completely against involving men – for instance receiving that a key anti-Brexit campaigner like Dominic Grieve could be delineated a cabinet seat.

‘Different perspective’

Asked about her invitation to weld the proposed female cabinet, Ms Sturgeon said: “I’m happy to work with anybody, mans or female, to try to stop Brexit”.

“I’m all for more women in politics, I think we can reintroduce a different perspective,” she told ITV’s Loose Women.

“But I do feel duty-bound to accent out that the former prime minister of course was a woman and didn’t handle to sort out Brexit – so there’s maybe a flaw in that argument.”

Ms Thornberry tweeted a rise to say she would not be able to take part in the planned talks because she is currently on feast.

She added that returning the issue of Brexit “to the people” was the “best avenue to go down at this point”.

“My fear with the other suggested path – imposing some alternative coalition government without any reference to the patrons – would risk worsening the feelings of anger and resentment towards ‘Westminster’ that clothed led us into this Brexit mess,” she added.

Ms Saville Roberts met Ms Lucas’s bid to break the deadlock over Brexit, but said she was “not entirely complacent” that only women would be involved.

Ms Soubry, who leads the Unaffiliated Group for Change, said she believed in the “power of women”, but a national identity government should be formed “irrespective of gender”.

Ethnic composition criticised

Ms Lucas has also sheathed criticism for the fact that all ten women she invited to join her proposed chest of drawers are white.

One of her critics, Labour MP Clive Lewis asked: “Where are the BAME [dark, Asian and minority ethnic] women politicians?”

In a statement posted on Facebook on Monday, Ms Lucas wrote: “An all-white cant of women isn’t right”.

“I should have reached out further and thought uncountable deeply about who, and what kind of politics, an all-white list represents. I apologise.”

“There are domestics of colour colleagues who are standing up to this government’s reckless gamble with Britain’s tomorrow, and it was wrong to overlook them.”

Should we compare men and women?

Dr Helen Kowalewska, a check in fellow at Southampton University, said there was some academic brochures suggesting women could be more co-operative than men.

She said other rags suggested women could make more effective leaders – although there was “much myriad research showing no such gender differences”.

Research on the subject could augment stereotypes while excluding people whose gender identity is non-binary, she added.

Dr Kowalewsa asserted a cabinet comprising people from lots of different backgrounds – containing, but not limited to, race and class – would be a better representation than a advisers aboard comprising “similar women” only.

“I don’t find the concept of an all-woman chest-on-chest helpful, but I do agree that we need more women involved in the Brexit alter,” she said.

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