The Labour shadow women and equalities minister Dawn Butler made her first appearance since announcing she will be running to become the party’s new deputy leader on Friday November 8th, after Tom Watson announced he will step down from the position and not run again as an MP at the general election in mid-December.
Watson made the announcement on Wednesday evening November 6th, posting a letter on Twitter, and saying he would step down as an MP at the general election scheduled for December 12th. Butler then spoke to Bloomberg TV on Thursday November 7th where she said, “I’ve thought very carefully about who should replace Tom and after giving it some thought I will be throwing my hat in the ring.”
On Friday November 8th Butler attended a Business and Technology Centre in Stevenage. Speaking to a group of businesswomen, Butler referenced Labour’s plans to push for equality in the workplace with increased maternity leave pay, and more flexible working hour policies.
Labour aims to “dismantle the structural barriers” women face in the workplace, she said.
According to the Guardian, Butler said that white, straight men have “a privilege code to the lift,” meaning they had easier access straight to managerial positions. A Labour government in power would bring a level playing field in the world of work.
Her bottom line is to change things on their head, Butler explained. “Basically, my whole thing is just about respecting women, our bodies, what we go through, and making workplaces more acceptable and friendly, so everybody can contribute to the economy,” she said and added, “all these policies are saying women matter.”
The new deputy leader will be elected by party members, and rumours are swirling on who are the potential candidates. It is likely that some might be awaiting election results before making a decision on running for the position.