A WESTMINSTER candidate standing against “two Steves and a Chris” says politics would be better with her in it.

Kirstein Rummery yesterday became the first Women’s Equality Party (WE) candidate announced in Scotland ahead of the snap General Election next month.

The social policy professor will contest her local seat of Stirling, currently held by the SNP’s Steven Paterson.

Her candidacy follows earlier announcements by Chris Kane of Labour and Stephen Kerr of the Conservatives.

Discussing the field, Rummery said she was up against “two Steves and a Chris”, adding: “There are more Steves than there are women. That’s just wrong.

Politics needs wider voices, we need wider experience. Politics would be improved if more people like me went into it. I can draw on a massive wealth of experience as an academic and as a mum and a carer.”

This includes both knowledge and lived experience of the social care system as a carer for her eldest son, who has autism, as a patient living with chronic pain condition fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis and of recovering from post-traumatic stress disorder, as well roles advising the Scottish and UK governments on health and social care policy.

This, Rummery says, has inspired her to stand. She said: “Academics get listened to a lot, but we don’t get acted upon. I want to be in a position to put what I know into action.”

Launched in 2015 on a platform of equal pay, a gender-balanced parliament, ending violence against women and shared parenting, WE is led by journalist Sophie Walker, who was raised in Glasgow and is taking on filibustering Tory MP Philip Davies in Shipley.

He recently attempted to talk out a bill introduced by the Banff and Buchan MP Eilidh Whiteford which requires the UK to ratify the Istanbul Convention on preventing gender-based violence.

Rummery, WE’s Scottish policy spokesperson, said: “A lot of people have said ‘why are you going up against the SNP, who have got quite a good record on gender equality?’ “Quite a good record isn’t enough. They take up little bits, but don’t go far enough, especially on social care, where none of the parties are doing anything substantial.” Calling for better pay and conditions for the largely-female social care workforce, she went on: “It is seen as a huge drain. Actually, it is an investment in the people who require the care, in the lives of the providers and in society.”

With a UK-wide membership of around 65,000, WE has pledged to “put hope and opportunity back on the agenda” in June.

In April, Walker said: “The Women’s Equality Party burst into life two years ago to build an alternative to the last national poll in which every party manifesto left women’s choices til last and tribal politics offered binary choices.

“This June we can joyfully shatter that model with the politics of women’s liberation and a collaborative approach to creating fairer systems that work better for everyone.”

The move away from “binary choices” means the party is “neutral” on issues including nuclear weapons and Scottish independence, though it is in favour of a second referendum.

Rummery says WE’s approach is pragmatic, because its core issues would remain regardless of the constitutional arrangement. She said: “If you asked the SNP if women would be better off with independence, they would say yes. If you asked Labour, they would say women are better off in the Union. For us, it’s about equality.”

Quoting the party’s position, she said: “Whatever the outcome of that referendum, if it happens, WE would be campaigning to make sure that women’s equality and women’s voices are central.”