A CAMPAIGN group has called for the Government to enact a crucial part of the Equality Act to ensure political parties report their “gender gap” in election candidates.

Only 32 per cent of MPs and a third of local councillors across the UK are women, and the Electoral Reform Society (ERS) said political inequality in future elections had to be addressed.

The deadline for large companies to reveal their gender pay gap has already passed, and the ERS is calling on the government to “look closer to home” and reveal the level of political inequality.

It wants Section 106 of the Equality Act to be enacted. This requires parties to publish the demographic make-up of their election candidates as the first step towards tackling the gender gap and improving diversity.

Campaigners are calling for greater transparency around who is standing as candidates at elections to the UK Parliament and local authorities, as well as to the devolved administrations. They say the information would provide an invaluable resource for those seeking gender equality and increase the accountability of parties and their branches up and down the country – creating positive competition.

Jess Garland, ERS director of policy and research, said: “Now that companies have revealed their gender pay gaps, it’s time UK parties tackled the inequality in their own back yards.

“We’ve seen businesses play their part – now government and political parties must play theirs in showing their diversity figures. Much like the gender pay gap, political inequality is holding back progress in this country.

“The Women and Equalities Committee has already called for Section 106 of the Equality Act (2010) to be enacted to tackle this problem. The Government’s refusal to act on this legislation runs against their commitment to open government.”

In its response to the committee’s report, the Government described concerns about the “potential regulatory burden” of enacting

the regulations.