A new political party, launched in Britain less than six months ago, already boasts 61 branches. The founding meeting of the Women’s Equality Party was held on March 29 at the Royal Festival Hall and currently counts its membership “in the thousands,” according to founder Catherine Mayer, a former London correspondent for TIME magazine. Mayer asked radio personality Sandi Toksvig to be co-founder. Toksvig is the daughter of a Danish politician but has made her name mocking political figures as the host of the BBC’s News Quiz. High-profile journalist Sophie Walker will lead the party. The Party’s six basic objectives include equal pay for equal work and “equal representation in politics, business, industry and throughout working life.” Mayer says the British electoral system does not welcome newcomers, pointing to the experience of the Norwegian women’s party. “They started at the same time as us and by the end of March they already had a slate of people to run in regional elections in September. They think they can win a seat with 1,300 votes. That’s nothing. We are thinking of running a candidate in the Greater London Authority elections next year and there you will need maybe 85,000 votes to win a seat.”
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