Downing Street Criticised For Failing To Honour Women Sacked From Cabinet As The Men Get Gongs

ResHUFFle: Gongs For The Boys, But Nothing For The Sacked Women

David Cameron is under pressure to explain why he has failed to give honours to the women sacked from Cabinet in this week's reshuffle, while men who've lost their jobs have been given a slew of gongs. The criticism comes after allegations that David Cameron made some of the women he fired cry when he broke the news to them on Tuesday morning.

Number 10 was quizzed on Thursday about why Cheryl Gillan and Caroline Spelman have not been made Dames following their exit from government, whereas Sir George Young will be appointed to the exclusive Order of the Companions after losing his job as Leader of the Commons.

Knighthoods will also be bestowed upon the former agriculture minister James Paice and ex-Solicitor General Edward Garnier, along with Nick Harvey and Gerald Howarth, who lost their jobs in the Ministry of Defence.

Downing Street would only say that the awards to the five men were "a recognition of public service," but was unable to account for why two female secretaries of state - who'd served under David Cameron since 2005, both in opposition and Cabinet - were sidelined.

The men who have been given gongs on Thursday have either served under Cameron for less time or in more junior posts than the women who have been overlooked for honours.

Although the number of women in Cabinet remains the same as before the reshuffle, there's been anger among female politicians that this doesn't account for their seniority. Justine Greening was moved from Transport to International Development - effectively sidelining her for opposing a putative third runway at Heathrow Airport.

The Tories point out that technically Sayeeda Warsi, while losing her job as party chairman, gets a pay-rise after she was given the new title of "senior minister". She will still attend Cabinet but was privately furious that she was initially offered a somewhat tokenistic position in the Foreign Office overseeing Commonwealth affairs.

Various reports surfaced in the wake of the reshuffle that some women cried when they were informed of their sacking, with suggestions that Justine Greening "shouted" at Cameron during her lengthy time in Number 10 on Tuesday morning. Reports in two newspapers strongly suggested that Cheryl Gillan and Caroline Spelman were in tears.

Speaking on ITV's Daybreak programme on Thursday morning, Cameron said in response: "Don't believe everything you read in the papers."

But Cameron remains under pressure to resolve the Tories alleged "women problem". Despite promising to massively increase the number of female Cabinet ministers, halfway through the Parliament the number remains the same as it was in 2010. Female commentators told The Huffington Post on Tuesday that his reshuffle gave them little confidence that the PM was serious about his pledge to give more women top jobs.


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