Government criticised over lack of women in new UK passport

Photo courtesy of Home Office
One of the pages from the new passport

THE government is being criticised for deciding to include just two women in the new UK passport design.

The latest passport pages include cultural figures and landmarks of the past 500 years, such as Shakespeare and the Angel of the North. The only women to be featured in the new UK passport are Architect Elizabeth Scott and computer programmer Ada Lovelace.

The new passport was launched by the Minister for Immigration James Brokenshire, at Shakespeare’s Globe theatre in London. Representatives from the Passport Office also joined him for the launch. When questioned about the lack of women in the new design, government officials defended their decision at a press conference. Mr Brokenshire said: “There’s always someone who wants their favourite rock band or icon in the book.”


Beatrix Potter, Jane Austen, the Brontes, Hilary Mantel and Tracey Emin are some of the suggestions for famous women that could have been featured in the new passport. At the press conference, Mark Thomson, director general at the Passport Office said, the decision to include two women and seven men was signed off by ministers, and the figures included in the passport were a “good representation” of artists and designers.

In a tweet, Labour’s shadow employment secretary Emily Thornberry said:  “Here we go again – new UK passport has 7 men featured and just 2 women. We exist.”

Speaking to the BBC, Ms Thornberry said: “This is an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women as well. We have had this fight about bank notes and now it’s about passports.

“I just feel as though we are here all over again”, she said.


  1. I am heartily sick of people today who always look for something to complain about. It does not matter who does what these days,but there is always someone who will step forward and start whinging. No wonder the country is in the the state it is. Grow up people and stop being so darned petty.

  2. I have to agree with you Roy, a list of suggestions for other females is given but this page would not permit a list of men that could also be there. I think people need to get a life, unfortunately social media and minorities pushing people to speak their minds brings out all the idiots with their comments that a few years ago would have kept their mouths shut to save embarrassment, sadly anyone now thinks they should speak out before thinking rather than the other way around… and it is only going to get worse as time goes on.


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