2. ‘Blair’s babes’
The 1997 general election increased the number of female MPs to 121. 101 of these were Labour MPs. Women held major ministerial posts for the first time. They included Harriet Harman in the newly created role of Minster for Women, Margaret Beckett as Foreign Secretary and Jacqui Smith as Home Secretary. They were labelled by the media as ‘Blair’s babes’, a tag that columnist Polly Toynbee condemned as misogynist.