Scotland politics

Scottish Lib Dem conference: More women candidates plan backed

The Scottish Liberal Democrats have backed plans to increase the number of female candidates in future parliamentary elections.

The party's conference voted to ensure women were selected in the five most winnable Westminster seats and five of the 10 most winnable Holyrood seats.

Leader Willie Rennie personally pushed for the change.

The move will not affect the male-dominated candidate selection for this May's Scottish Parliament election.

Delegates also confirmed that the lead candidate for the 2019 European Parliament election would be a woman.

Following the conference decision, Mr Rennie said: "Passing these proposals sends a powerful message that we are changing. This represents a big shift and will open up opportunities for new women candidates.

"And it is working already with new women now considering standing for parliament for the first time.

"We have bold, positive and ambitious plans for the next five years and we will now be joined by people from a much more diverse range of backgrounds as we take them forwards.

"As the leader of this progressive party I am delighted that we have embraced change that means we can be more like the people we are seeking to represent."

The Scottish Liberal Democrats are holding their two-day annual conference at the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh.

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