A HOST of leading Conservative politicians will gather in Cumbria today (Thursday) to encourage more women to stand for public office.

Copeland MP Trudy Harrison is among those attending the “Women in Politics: Representation Shapes Policy!” event at Carlisle Racecourse.

She will join a Q&A session with Conservative Party chairman Brandon Lewis MP; Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey MP; Women and Equalities select committee chair Maria Miller MP.

The politicians will talk about their political journeys and offer advice to women who want to stand for public office, or are considering standing for public office. Mr Lewis said: “Politics works best when it is representative of the community. Our party is taking the lead in tackling the challenge of getting more women into public life. It takes a woman six to 12 months longer from showing an expression of interest in joining the candidates’ list to applying to stand."