Conservative women's minister Nicky Morgan arrives in Downing Street on April 9, 2014 after being appointed to the post. Photograph: Getty Images.
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Tories "categorically" rule out all-women shortlists

The party rejects women's minister Nicky Morgan's suggestion that "no option is off the table".

Nicky Morgan, the recently-appointed women's minister, has made some headlines with her suggestion that the Tories would consider all-women shortlists to improve their level of female representation. She told a Mumsnet chat: "I think we need to see where we end up in 2015 and if we are still struggling to get more women MPs then no option is off the table."

At present, just 16 per cent of Conservative MPs are women, compared to 33 per cent of Labour MPs (the only one of the three main parties to use all-women shortlists) and positive discrimination is often regarded as the only way to significantly improve representation.

But in response to Morgan's comments, the Tories have made it clear that they won't be going down this path. A senior Conservative source told me that it was "categorically not an option" and pointed to the fact that more than 30 per cent of 2015 Tory candidates are women as evidence of progress. But Morgan's comments are a sign that some in the party believe a more radical solution may be needed.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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Quiz: Can you identify fake news?

The furore around "fake" news shows no sign of abating. Can you spot what's real and what's not?

Hillary Clinton has spoken out today to warn about the fake news epidemic sweeping the world. Clinton went as far as to say that "lives are at risk" from fake news, the day after Pope Francis compared reading fake news to eating poop. (Side note: with real news like that, who needs the fake stuff?)

The sweeping distrust in fake news has caused some confusion, however, as many are unsure about how to actually tell the reals and the fakes apart. Short from seeing whether the logo will scratch off and asking the man from the market where he got it from, how can you really identify fake news? Take our test to see whether you have all the answers.

 

 

In all seriousness, many claim that identifying fake news is a simple matter of checking the source and disbelieving anything "too good to be true". Unfortunately, however, fake news outlets post real stories too, and real news outlets often slip up and publish the fakes. Use fact-checking websites like Snopes to really get to the bottom of a story, and always do a quick Google before you share anything. 

Amelia Tait is a technology and digital culture writer at the New Statesman.