Re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic: ‘Pick a woman for EU role, Juncker warns Cameron’

Jean-Claude Juncker, the incoming president of the European Commission, has said he will address any “gender imbalance” through the portfolio selection

David Cameron was last night warned to send a woman to Europe or risk Britain forfeiting a top role at the European Commission.

Jean-Claude Juncker is piling pressure on national leaders to change their nominations for the Commission and put forward more female candidates.

The incoming President of the European Commission said women would have a “very good chance” of getting the plum jobs.

Mr Juncker told an Austrian newspaper: “Unfortunately, and despite my repeated requests, most of the governments insist on sending male candidates.

“A Commission without a significant number of women is, in my view, neither legitimate nor credible.

“That is why I am continuing to insist with several heads of state and government that they send me a female candidate. In the end, should there still not be a sufficient number of women, I will need to redress the balance through the portfolio allocation.

“Female commissioners will then certainly have very good chances of landing an important portfolio or of getting one of the most sought-after posts of vice-president, acting as my deputies.”

Mr Cameron has selected Lord Hill of Oareford as the candidate to be Britain’s European Commissioner – and will push for a key economic position…