New Forest East


Dr Julian Lewis: I too welcome the appointment of the new Minister. In the answers that he has given to this question so far, is he saying that he is satisfied that the Civil Service is an equal opportunities employer already, or that reform needs to be made to bring about that happy state of affairs? If the Civil Service is already a satisfactory employer, why is he saying that more reform is needed? If it is not a satisfactory employer, why is he satisfied with the situation as it stands?

[The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Cabinet Office (Mr Jim Murphy): Again, I thank the hon. Gentleman for his kind words of congratulation. It is clear that the Civil Service is in need of reform. More than half of those in the Civil Service are women, but just over a quarter of those in the senior Civil Service are women. Yes, there is a need for reform and for continued progress. If the hon. Gentleman has specific ideas about how we can advance that reform and ensure that there is positive recruitment, I look forward to listening with interest to them.]