Single ladies-the place of Tory women

With Baroness Stowell declaring herself the Beyoncé of the Lords, the success of Cameron's cabinet reshuffle in terms of women is examined.

Beyoncé Knowles once said "the more successful I become, the more I need a man"- but for David Cameron, in order for the party to succeed in the general election, the Conservative party need women more than ever. His cabinet reshuffle, where numerous female MPs were escalated to positions of power, was designed to move women into the very centre of party politics and show the electorate that Ed Miliband's claim the party has a problem with women, couldn't be further from the truth. However, with the first crack appearing in this seemingly foolproof plan to win over Britain's women, how likely is it that "Cameron's Cuties" will be successful?

Baroness Tina Stowell, the self declared Beyoncé of Parliament, was made leader of the House of Lords- but her loss of cabinet status and lower salary than her male predecessor is already creating friction. Although the problem is administrative rather than personal, a limit on how many people can be on the cabinet as full members, has prevented Baroness Stowell gaining full cabinet rank.

Baroness Boothroyd was quick to criticize and went as far as to say the prime minister has "trampled on the constitution." Not then, the roaring success Cameron must have hoped the promotion of a women to such a high profile position would be-begging the question, is it just too little, too late?

What will be essential to women becoming a crucial part of the Tory brand, is whether the party can sustain this and then attract enough female MP's to go beyond a cabinet reshuffle and make a real difference in 2015. One in ten Conservative female members of parliament are standing down at the next election-more significant than it sounds when you take into account there is only forty eight. Secondly, there seems to be a reluctancy at grassroots level to select female candidates, demonstrated by only two out of nine Tory safe seats that men are stepping down from next year, doing so, and all women short lists, like the kind Labour used victoriously, being rejected.

The party will need to attract more MP's like the new Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, a working mother, as she was keen to emphasise in her first education questions in the Commons, if they are to rival Labour's reputation.

Cameron has laid the, if somewhat rocky,foundations upon which women can be given a more substantial role in the party but in order for the newly female cabinet ministers to be successful, the rhetoric he established through the reshuffle must be emphasised across the whole party, at both a national and grassroots level. A cabinet reshuffle will be long forgotten by the majority of the electorate come May; for a lasting legacy, there must be a fierce push to make the single ladies more than just props.