Once the Tories go down the route of box ticking quotas, I'm afraid they're just as bad as their political opponents, says Darren Grimes
Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle has called for 'radical' reform to working practices after a string of bullying and sexual misconduct offences involving MPs.
I've been around politics long enough to know that the problem with it is the culture of drink, inflated egos and long hours, not "institutional sexism" as the Tory MP Caroline Nokes has said.
The Conservative Party, of all political parties, with two female leaders of that party, one somewhat more successful than the other, mind you, is undoubtedly a testament to the idea you don't need diversity quotas for women to get ahead.
I don't doubt that things have been horrific for women in politics, not just politics but in many male-dominated workplaces in the not too distant past.
That's rightly changing, but I fear that the Conservative Party, with its record of allowing women to get ahead on being the best person for the job, is at risk instead of putting women forward purely because they happen to have a vagina.
Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle calls for "radical" reform to working practices after a string of bullying and sexual misconduct offences involving MPs.
That should occur; with each passing week these days, the Palace of Westminster accrues more HR issues than the Playboy Mansion.
But the Conservatives would learn the wrong lessons from this saga were they to agree with the party chairman Oliver Dowden who said that the party must now ensure half of the Conservative MPs returned at the next election are women.
Were, in replacing Neil Parish, the MP quitting after admitting he watched pornography twice in Parliament, the Tories to decide that the only thing to do now is creating an all-women shortlist, they'd be doing women a disservice, in my opinion.
Suppose you're selected on your immutable characteristics, on being the owner of a vagina or some other arbitrary condition, rather than being the right candidate for the job.
In that case, you'll always be thought of as a diversity hire, a tokenistic target or as second best to those who truly deserved the job.
That's not the lesson we should be learning from this. Women who care about politics and their communities are as worthy of a place in parliament as men, but it has to be a selection based solely on merit.
Once the Tories go down the route of box ticking, of quotas like a pick 'n' mix of X number of MPs that are women, black, brown, gay, trans or whatever else, then I'm afraid they're just as bad as their political opponents.
Political opponents that see us all through the lens of identity and not as the individuals that we are.