Yesterday I took part in a lively discussion on Iain Dale’s radio show on LBC 97.3fm. We were discussing the European Parliament voting through a proposed directive on gender balance on the boards of listed companies, commonly referred to as ‘Women on Boards’.
As always on Iain’s show, it was an interesting debate, with many differing opinions expressed by the listeners. Iain agreed that women making up only 19% of FTSE 100 board members is for from ideal, but questioned whether the European Union was the correct level at which to address the situation. I take a rather different view, as I believe the directive and the European Parliaments support for greater gender equality in business is a very good thing. You can listen to the entire segment using the media player above.
Yesterday I debated the need for more women on company boards with London Conservative MEP Marina Yannakoudakis on BBC2’s Daily Politics. We were interviewed by Jo Coburn with Iain Dale providing additional comment. I am clear that there needs to be legislative action to ensure women across Europe are better represented. It is better for business and better for society.
On Sunday I had the pleasure of appearing on Iain Dale’s radio show on LBC 97.3. The topic we were discussing was David Cameron’s trip to India last week and talk about how important is it to build trade cultural links between us and India, and other emerging nations, along with the crossbench Peer Lord Bilimoria, British-Indian entrepreneur Rajesh Agrawal and Pavani Reddy. You can listen to this discussion using the media players below.
After that, Iain interviewed me in something he calls his ‘secret lives’, where we discussed me interests and activities outside of politics. You can listen to this on the media player below. You can also go to his LBC page and consider subscribing to his excellent podcast by following the link here.
This is the clip of the debate I took part in on Sunday for Iain Dale’s show on LBC Radio. We were discussing the underrepresentation of women at all levels of politics. I was joined in the debate by Siân Berry, former Green Party London Mayoral Candidate, and Margot James, Tory MP for Stourbridge. It was a lively and interesting discussion with a fairly high degree of accord. We may not have agreed on the means, but we all believe there should be more women in politics.
You can listen to the first part of the debate via the media player above, with the second part below.
On Friday I took part in a discussion on the EU referendum on Iain Dale’s LBC evening show. My fellow guests were Mark Seddon, Kate Hoey and Petros Fassoulas. In light of yesterday’s debate I thought you might like to have a listen:
Last night I was on Iain Dale’s show on LBC. It was an interesting discussion on the Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) that was mentioned by Jose Manuel Barroso (President of the Commission) yesterday during his state of the union address to the European Parliament. I posted some extracts of that speech yesterday and you can read them by following the link here. Below is the exert from Iain Dale’s show where we discuss the FTT and, as he mentions, find an unusual level of agreement.
The exchange between Michael O’Leary and myself on “Woman’s Hour” yesterday has received some attention, including in the Times this morning. You can listen to the full interview with Michael O’Leary presented by Jane Garvey by clicking the media player below:
Interestingly O’Leary felt unable to leave it there and produced this press release. This is what I sent out a my response:
Ryanair attacks Labour MEP following radio debate
MEP defends her position following ‘cheap’ and ‘personal’ dig by O’Leary
London MEP Mary Honeyball has responded to a press release issued todayby Ryanair accusing her of “false claims” against his airline and calling her “dreary”.
Ms Honeyball said: ‘Rather than explaining its actions, Ryanair has responded to me by using cheap publicity slogans, which are potentially slanderous. If O’Leary and his team cannot think of anything useful to say, then perhaps they shouldn’t say anything at all’.
Appearing alongside Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary on BBC Radio 4’s Women’s Hour yesterday Honeyball maintained that the Ryanair’s 2010 calendar, which features scantily clad young women in sexually provocative poses, is demeaning.
The women -all of whom are Ryanair employees – were, according to O’Leary, willing volunteers. However, O’Leary does not allow trade union representation at Ryanair, leading Mary Honeyball to wonder whether some of the young women faced pressure to strip off for the calendar. With no trade union to defend them, Mary questioned whether the young women could be especially prone to such coercion.
Replying to O’Leary’s jibe that she was just out to get “cheap publicity” Ms Honeyball said: ‘As an elected representative I have the right to draw people’s attention to matters like this. Since I currently sit on the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality in the European Parliament, it is my responsibility to speak out about issues important to women.’
When Mr. O’Leary pointed out that the proceeds from the calendar go to charity, Mary Honeyball said there were much better ways of raising money for good causes which did not involve demeaning images of women.’
And finally….I would like to thank Iain Dale for his congratulations on the work I do on human trafficking. About the Ryanair calendar Iain, I’d be grateful if you listened to this “Woman’s Hour” piece. I made the same points that you considered flimsy arguments on LBC and O’Leary conspicuously failed to answer them. Maybe they weren’t so flimsy after all?