Key jobs for female MPs in big reshuffle

Handing a petition to youbus in Heanor. Eastwood MP Gloria De Piero and local residents and bus users Diane Charlton and Lynne Ingram.
Handing a petition to youbus in Heanor. Eastwood MP Gloria De Piero and local residents and bus users Diane Charlton and Lynne Ingram.

As the heavyweight political parties shuffled their packs this week, both Labour and the Conservatives turned to Eastwood and Kimberley’s female MPs.

On a day of movement on both sides of the House, Labour leader Ed Miliband promoted Eastwood politician Gloria De Piero to his Shadow Cabinet as the new Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities.

Rival David Cameron broke new ground by making Broxtowe’s Anna Soubry, who serves Kimberley, the first female Member of Parliament to become a Minister of Defence (MoD).

She heads to the defence headquarters on the banks of the Thames from her previous position as a health minister.

Both changes have caught the eye with the MPs increasing the influence of women at the forefront of British politics.

Ms De Piero, a former journalist, said: “I’m really pleased to be able to play my part in helping Ed get into Number 10, but the people of Eastwood and Ashfield put me into politics to serve them and I will never forget that.

“They will always come first.”

Ms De Piero is the former political editor of GMTV, and former Shadow Minister for Crime Prevention.

She was elected to the Ashfield seat in 2010 by a narrow margin. In her new role, she replaces Yvette Cooper as the Minister with the Women and Equalities brief.

A trained barrister, Ms Soubry also has has a media background as a former reporter on Central News East. She also worked on This Morning presented by Richard and Judy.

Ms Soubry, who was elected in 2010, said: “I am proud to be the first female Member of Parliament to become a Minister of Defence.

“This role will not prevent me working hard locally, and I will continue to serve my constituents. I believe that my local experiences, as a proud supporter of both Chetwynd Barracks and Beeston Royal British Legion, mean that I am aware of a number of the issues facing the Armed Forces, and I look forward to taking these local experiences into this very important role.”