MP Amber Rudd has spoken out about the need to increase the number of women in Parliament.
In a debate in the House of Commons recently, the Hastings MP said that it was essential that this remained at the top of the agenda for all political parties.
Of the main parties, Labour appears to have been most successful so far at increasing the number of women in Parliament, with 32 per cent of MPs being female.
This compares to 16 per cent of Conservative MPs, and 12 per cent of Liberal Democrat MPs being female.
Ms Rudd said: “Each party has different political philosophies and it is inevitable that we will have different ways of approaching the diversity issue.
“The Labour party has dealt with it through all-women shortlists and quotas and has had its success as a result.
“But I do not believe that is a desirable way of introducing more women into Parliament.”
She added: “The problem that we are trying to address is not just to do with Parliament, however, because there is a problem with women’s representation not just at Westminster but, as we have discussed in previous debates, in public companies, at the top in boardrooms and in different elements of life.
“If we want to be truly democratic we have to reflect the diversity of the whole country. It is more important in Parliament than anywhere else.”
In December last year, the Hastings and Rye Labour Party voted in Sarah Owen as parliamentary candidate for the constituency, from an all-women shortlist.