UK minister quits with 'female window-dressing' jibe

Britain's Europe Minister Flint accused PM Brown of using women as "female window-dressing" in his government when she quit her post.

UK minister quits with 'female window-dressing' jibe
Britain's Europe Minister Caroline Flint accused Prime Minister Gordon Brown of using women as "female window-dressing" in his government when she quit her post on Friday.

Flint, the latest in a stream of ministers to stand down this week, announced her resignation while Brown unveiled his new senior team at a news conference.

Her departure came less than a day after she declared her loyalty to Brown following speculation that she would resign.

Her office released a copy of a strongly worded resignation letter to Brown in which she accused him of allowing few women colleagues into his inner circle.

"Several of the women attending Cabinet, myself included, have been treated by you as little more than female window-dressing," she wrote. "I am not willing to attend Cabinet in a peripheral capacity any longer."

"I am extremely disappointed at your failure to have an inclusive government. You have a two-tier government: your inner circle and then the remainder of Cabinet."

She added that Brown had "strained every sinew" of her loyalty to the Labour government, in power for 12 years but trailing by 20 points before an election due within a year.

Flint first entered parliament in 1997 as one of the original "Blair Babes", the nickname given to the 101 female Labour lawmakers elected when Tony Blair came to power.

Three other women ministers have resigned this week -- interior minister Jacqui Smith, communities secretary Hazel Blears and children's minister Beverley Hughes.

Newspapers have billed their resignations as the "Revenge of the Sisterhood". Some commentators say the Mother of Parliaments is still a male-dominated environment where a macho culture flourishes, despite government attempts to make politics more family-friendly.

Reuters
Güncelleme Tarihi: 06 Haziran 2009, 17:16
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