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Reporting Back - March 2013

Annette Brook MP, Mid Dorset and North Poole Constituency

Annette Brooke MP

Last week was rather a remarkable week for my Party. There was much media coverage of allegations about one of our peers and there was the Eastleigh by election. I found myself on national TV and radio being just one of seven female Liberal Democrat MPs. The debate moved on from the particular allegations which are now the subject of two internal Inquiries, as to why there are so few female MPs. Overall, about 22% of MPs are female which clearly is not representative of the country. Personally, I think that Parliament would operate in a better way with a more balanced representation. I think it would be less confrontational and more constructive. There are of course many professions where women are in a minority, particularly in senior positions. Yet there is much evidence to suggest that companies perform better when there are women on the Boards.

Much analysis has taken place to establish why women do not succeed in becoming MPs or do not pursue parliamentary ambitions. Is the environment so off putting? Are there particular barriers for women? I definitely had to develop a thick skin very quickly after my first election and there are many annoying times. Jobs certainly seem to go to the boys, just look at how few women there are in the Cabinet now. However, I love the job and I haven't faced sexual harassment over the many years I have been active in politics!

As many of you will know I plan to stand down at the next General Election.

It has been an amazing honour and privilege to represent the constituency for 12 years and I look forward to the next two years before I retire. There are still so many issues I wish to pursue!

I was first elected in February 1986 to represent Broadstone on Poole Council. With all the help and support I have received for so many years I have managed to win every subsequent public election in which I have been a candidate. I served for 17 years on Poole Council and so with potentially 14 years as an MP, I shall certainly be ready to put my feet up!

I am going to Buckingham Palace on 7th March to receive my OBE, I do see this award as belonging to everybody who has made it possible for me to participate in public life. I have so many people to thank.

I can be contacted via 01202 693555 or e-mail

The articles of Annette Brooke are archived below:

2014 - January, February, March, April, May, June

2013 - January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November

2012 - August, September, October, November, December

2011 - January, February, February (updated), April, May, June

2010 - February, July, September, October, November, December

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Last Updated: 1st March 2013