I’m here, writing for a publication designed for Conservative Women readers about why I’m backing Dominic Raab. There is no dodging the “Feminists are obnoxious bigots” line from 2011. I’m thinking you are going to be a tough crowd.
In addition, Raab has just said in an ITV interview this week, that he’s not really a Feminist. Queue gasps and groans and mutterings of “Back to the 1950’s we go”.
That’s the stuff of headlines and ‘click bait’.
Let’s dig deeper.
Co-authoring an article with Dominic Raab, when the leadership election was looming in our sights on the 19th of May, was the Rt Hon Maria Miller MP, Chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee. The article? No less than making the case for added protections for pregnant working women from redundancy and acknowledging the ‘Dad Gap’ by factoring fathers into the mix with reforms to Parental Leave.
Miller’s endorsement of Dominic Raab was an important one to me and was instrumental in my jumping on board the #Ready4Raab campaign.
So too is the announcement of a planned tax cut of a penny a year off the basic income tax rate, with a reduction from 20% to 15% over a five-year period as well as raising the threshold for National Insurance contributions to £12,500. We make better choices as to how to spend our hard-earned money than any Government will.
Like Raab and his wife Erika Rey, I’m a sharer of domestic and childcare responsibilities with my husband. We need a PM who understands the demands of modern family life. He is also a man who understands what it is like to be raised by a mother, having lost his father at the age of twelve to cancer.
Raab may not be a feminist by his own admission, however, according to an excellent article, written by Kate Andrews of the Institute of Economic Affairs, the vast majority of women today do not identify with the 2019 definition of feminism. What Raab does say, is that he is committed to equal opportunity in a meritocratic society and he is fighting for a #FairerBritian.
At the time of writing, Dominic Raab has the highest number of women MPs openly declaring support for his campaign for leadership. Raab may be the negotiator that Brussels fears, but I have no doubt these women will have struck a hard bargain in return for supporting his candidacy.
Am I a Feminist? I would choose to define myself as a Fighter for Equality of Opportunity for all, regardless of Gender, Colour, Sexual Orientation and because I have a son with Autism, I will continue to fight for those with Learning Difference too.
I will also fight to uphold Democracy and leave the European Union according to the wishes of the British people and therefore it is vital to me that our next leader sets out a clear direction of travel to achieve this.
We have just seen the latest YouGov Westminster polling, pushing the Conservative Party and Labour into third equal place behind the Lib Dems and The Brexit Party. Be in no doubt. This is an existential crisis of unprecedented scale within our party.
For me, it’s a no-brainer to back the candidate to lead our Party and our Country, who is Fighting for a Fairer Britain. That Leader and our next Prime Minister is Dominic Raab.