3 August 2015
On Tuesday 28th July, Diana Korchien of Waltham Forest and Redbridge Green Party joined Green Party campaigners at The Royal Courts of Justice for a landmark hearing. The issue at stake was whether MPs ought to be permitted to jobshare. In the 2015 parliamentary elections, Green Party members Sarah Cope and Claire Phipps (1) had sought to stand on a joint ticket for Basingstoke. Their nomination was rejected by the returning officer before May's general election. On Tuesday, they appeared at the High Court in London in a bid to overturn the returning officer's decision.
The women have now been refused a judicial review over their plans to become job-share MPs, but have vowed to fight on.
In reaction to the High Court judge's decision to deny them permission to pursue a Judicial review into their bid to joint candidacy for Parliament, the pair said:
"We are disappointed by the judge's decision. Today was an opportunity for the judiciary to pave the way towards a more representative and democratic parliament. However, the support we have received for this campaign from across the political spectrum and the electorate shows just how important an issue this is.”
Although people from many walks of life, including bankers, doctors, teachers - even judges, benefit from jobsharing, our parliamentary representatives do not enjoy the same flexibility despite frequently punishing work schedules. It is argued that parliamentary rules ought to be changed to allow a more comprehensive democratic representation of the population. 32 million UK women make up 51% of the population, yet over 450 of the 650 MPs in Parliament are men.
Diana Korchien concluded: "Despite openly admitting the importance and seriousness of this issue, the court has, in effect, passed the buck back to parliament. We will continue to fight for a fairer system which allows more people with disabilities and more women to stand for parliament, not to mention the elderly."