The news comes after the party’s women’s minister Nicky Morgan hinted last week that the Conservatives might consider shortlisting only female candidates in some seats, to boost the number of women in Westminster in 2015.
Speaking on Sky News’ Murnaghan show yesterday, party chairman Grant Shapps called all-women shortlists “draconian” and said the Tories have already succeeded in shortlisting 35 per cent female candidates, some in highly winnable seats.
Yet Prime Minister David Cameron has come in for criticism after he failed to ensure a third of his cabinet is female. There are just three female cabinet ministers among 19 male colleagues, with two other women who attend occasionally. The source said yesterday: “All women shortlists are not necessary and won’t happen.”