The representation gap


This event, hosted by UK think tank IPPR, will feature a keynote address from the Rt Hon Angela Rayner MP, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party.

IPPR is hosting an in-person panel event about representation in parliament. At this event, we will hear a keynote address from the Rt Hon Angela Rayner MP, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party.

This will be followed by a panel discussion, with speakers including Professor Rainbow Murray, Professor of Politics at Queen Mary University of London. The event is being held in partnership with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES).

In representative democracies, parliament (or the legislative) determines whose ‘voices’ in democracy filter through to governance and decision-making – and whose do not.

On one hand, the social and economic background of parliamentarians has an important impact on the policy choices they make in office. One the other hand, it has repercussions for public trust in democratic politics and voting behaviour.

As recent political scandals in the UK push issues relating to political representation up the agenda, at this event we will reflect on the findings of new research from FES and IPPR and we will consider:

  • How representative is the House of Commons of UK society?
  • Are recent improvements in gender and minority ethnic representation cause for celebration? Or is there more than meets the eye?
  • Why is there a growing ‘representation gap’ with regard to social class? What are the implications for policy and politics?
  • How does political representation in the UK compare to other representative democracies?
  • How can we improve the representativeness of parliament?
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