Labour should put more of its frontbench on show in the media to win over women voters, Sarah Champion suggested to IBTimes UK on Wednesday (1 March). The shadow secretary of state for women and equalities made the comment after being pressed over Jeremy Corbyn's poor polling with female voters.

A YouGov poll, of more than 1,600 respondents between 2 and 3 February, gave the Labour leader a net favourability rating of -40. The left-winger scored -34 among women voters.

"I haven't seen that, but for I don't come from a political background – I didn't study politics, I wasn't a local councillor – I ran a children's hospice and I was frustrated that people's voices weren't being heard and so when the opportunity came to being an MP I thought I would do it," Champion said.

"The only reason I said 'OK, I'll do it' is because a woman MP said I could. When she first said I could do it, I thought she was mad because people like me never become MPs."

She added: "What I am seeing in relation to women and Jeremy, whether they like him or whether they don't like him, they believe he is authentic because they believe that he is actually committed to what he says. What we need to work on is how get the messages over.

"We are seeing a lot of Jeremy, but actually there are a lot of people, and so we need to show what Labour is doing for everyone, what our policies are and we are part of a team...we need to be showing that diversity of backgrounds and policies."

The comments, at the London School of Economics, came moments after Champion unveiled Labour's major 12-month consultation into gender economic equality.

The probe, launched ahead of the spring statement on 8 March, will investigate how the opposition party can help remove "structural and cultural obstacles" that prevent women from reaching their economic potential.

"In the absence of the government conducting their own gender impact analysis of the budget, Labour will be working hard on the 8th March to analyse the impact on women," she said.

"It is shameful that we have to hold the government's feet to the fire in this way, simply to ensure that their policies are not disproportionately impacting one particular group and reversing progress on economic equality."

Sarah Champion
Sarah Champion, Labour MP for Rotherham and shadow secretary of state for women and equalities Getty