CONSERVATIVE politicians from North Wales are calling on more women to stand as candidates in the 2022 local elections.

November 21 marked the anniversary of the Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act 1918 which first allowed women to stand as Members of Parliament in the UK.

This date is now commemorated as #AskHerToStand day by groups such as 50:50 Parliament and the Conservative Women’s Organisation.

Virginia Crosbie, MP for Ynys Môn, has joined forces with the leadership of the Conservative Women’s Organisation (CWO) Wales - Suzy Davies, former Member of the Senedd, and Abigail Mainon, Deputy Chairman of the North Wales Conservatives - to call upon more women across Wales to put themselves forward.

Virginia was elected in 2019, alongside Sarah Atherton, MP for Wrexham, and Fay Jones, MP for Brecon and Radnorshire. These three were the first ever Conservative women in Wales to be elected to sit in the House of Commons.

Virginia said: “This anniversary is a moment to celebrate but it should also be a time to take stock of women in public life and elected office.

“We have a record number of women MPs in the UK Parliament at 34% and many women in top jobs in the public sector, in industry and in charities.

“But we cannot be complacent. 34% of women MPs is not good enough for more than one hundred years since we have been able to sit in the House of Commons.

“Online abuse and harassment is also something that could start to deter women from public office and tougher rules to stop hate are needed.

“However, women make a huge difference to public life and our views and life experiences on a wide range of issues are vital if we are to have good law, good organisations and good government.

“We have Welsh local elections around the corner, and I hope women come forward to stand up for their beliefs and to make that difference. Challenges remain but without women at the heart of public life in Wales and the rest of the UK, we are a poorer country.”

Abigail Mainon stood as a candidate in the 2021 Senedd elections for Alyn and Deeside and on the North Wales regional list.

She currently serves as a community councillor and behind the scenes helps to organise and execute local party campaigns, as well as co-running the Welsh CWO with Suzy Davies.

The Conservative Women's Organisation (CWO) Wales is a group that encourages and supports women in the Conservative Party who wish to become involved at all levels of public life or in their local communities. It is a branch of the UK's CWO, the oldest women’s political organisation in the world, which provides training, mentoring and speaking opportunities.

Abigail said: “Following #AskHerToStand day I’m calling on more women to stand up for what matters to them. We need your voices to make a difference at all levels of politics. This matters so that decisions that affect our everyday lives can be made with a wider range of views and perspectives.

“In May, we will be electing our new community and county councillors. If you care about your local area, if you feel you have something to say and to give, please put yourself forward as a candidate.”