Sophie Walker

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Sophie Walker
Sophie Walker et al.jpg
Sophie Walker in 2018`
Leader of the Women's Equality Party
In office
22 July 2015 – 22 January 2019
Preceded bySandi Toksvig (co-founder)
Catherine Mayer (co-founder)
Succeeded byTo be confirmed
Personal details
Born (1971-05-27) 27 May 1971 (age 47)
Blackpool, Lancashire, England
Political partyWomen's Equality Party
Spouse(s)Christopher Naylor
Alma materUniversity of Reading
WebsiteWomen's Equality Party
External video
Press Association interview
with Sophie Walker
"Sandi Toksvig's Women's Equality Party name Sophie Walker as leader" via YouTube[1]

Sophie Walker (born 27 May 1971)[2][3] is a former leader of the Women's Equality Party (WE) in the United Kingdom.[4][5][6]

She was appointed as inaugural leader by the steering committee and was the unanimous choice; from 2017 the leadership will be decided by elections.[7] Walker was also the party candidate in the 2016 London mayoral election.[8]

Early life[edit]

Walker was born on 27 May 1971, the daughter of Lesley and David Walker.[9] She was born in Blackpool, in England, but grew up in Glasgow, in Scotland.[10]

She attended university in England, studying English and French at the University of Reading.[11] Walker then took a postgraduate diploma in newspaper journalism at City University, in London.[12]


Walker's early career was in journalism, working as a reporter and then as an editor at the Reuters news agency. She covered the fields of finance, business and trade, plus politics. She reported from London, Paris and Washington and from Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.[6]

Women's Equality Party[edit]

As interim party leader, Walker launched the policy manifesto of the Women's Equality Party (WE) at Conway Hall, 20 October 2015.[13][14] Walker had previously told BBC Radio Wales Sunday Supplement programme that the party would be taking a non-partisan approach to elections, "We will be undertaking consultations with our members and deciding which seats to target."[15]

Walker was elected party leader in March 2018 with over 90% of the vote.[16] The term of office is five years and was due to run until 2023,[17] but Walker resigned in early 2019.[4]

London mayoral election, 2016[edit]

Walker stood for election in the London mayoral election held on 5 May 2016.[18][19] She came sixth, with 53,055 votes (2% of the vote).[8]

UK general election, 2017[edit]

Walker stood in the 2017 general election in Shipley, against the sitting Conservative MP Philip Davies, an anti-political correctness and men's rights campaigner.[20] She received 1,040 votes (1.9%) and finished fourth out of four candidates.[21] Three months later the Labour Party announced they would be targeting Shipley at the next election and their candidate would be selected from an all-women shortlist,[22] Jo Pike was chosen in December the same year.[23]

Family life[edit]

Walker is married to Christopher Naylor, the chief executive officer of Barking and Dagenham council.[7] They live in London and have one daughter.[24]

Grace, Walker's daughter from a previous marriage, has Asperger's syndrome and Walker wrote a blog to give her daughter's life a voice.[25] This was published as the book Grace Under Pressure.[26] Walker has accepted an advocacy role with the National Autistic Society.[7]

Media appearances[edit]

Walker has appeared on a number of media broadcasts within the UK including a panel discussion on free speech and equality with Jordan Peterson and Michael Fabricant for The Wright Stuff in which she stated, "I think the difference between Jordan and me is that we look at evidence and we lean towards different theories. So, Jordan's theory is very much evolutionary, that there are inherent differences in men and women, mine is very much more social role theory, if you like, that men and women are taking on different roles due to the expectations that society puts on them."[27]


  • Walker, Sophie (2012). Grace under pressure: going the distance as an Asperger's mum. London: Hachette Digital. ISBN 9781405516082.
Broadcast Media
  • Sophie Walker (19 August 2015). Our interview with Sophie Walker (YouTube). Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  • In 2017, having led them to the final with two victories, Walker captained a team of celebrity former students from Reading University in Christmas University Challenge that was the first in the 55-year history of the quiz to fail to get a single question right. [28]


  1. ^ Sophie Walker (22 July 2015). Sandi Toksvig's Women's Equality Party name Sophie Walker as leader (YouTube). Press Association. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  2. ^ "Walker, Sophie". Library of Congress. Retrieved 21 September 2015. data view screen (b. 5-27-1971)
  3. ^ Beaty, Zoe (March 2016). "Just who are the Women's Equality Party and what do they stand for?". Stylist. Shortlist Media.
  4. ^ a b "Feminist party's first leader resigns". BBC News. 22 January 2019. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  5. ^ Cohen, Claire (22 July 2015). "Watch out Cameron: Meet the leader of Britain's first feminist political party". The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  6. ^ a b Ridley, Louise (8 September 2015). "Women's Equality Party leader Sophie Walker wants to end culture of "white men in suits"". The Huffington Post. The Huffington Post Media Group. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  7. ^ a b c Cocozza, Paula (28 August 2015). "Women's Equality party founders: 'It needed doing. So we said, "Let's do it"'". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  8. ^ a b Charlie Cooper, Katie Forster (7 May 2016). "Women's Equality Party gets more than 350,000 votes and beats George Galloway in London". The Independent. Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  9. ^ "Sophie Walker". Women's Equality Party. Archived from the original on 8 August 2017. Retrieved 18 March 2017.
  10. ^ Freeman, Sarah (28 April 2017). "Women's Equality Party leader Sophie Walker: Why I can beat Philip Davies in Shipley". The Yorkshire Post. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  11. ^ Student services (3 February 2017). "Alumni lecture series: Sophie Walker, Women's Equality Party". University of Reading. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  12. ^ Walker, Sophie. "Sophie Walker". LinkedIn. Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  13. ^ "Women's Equality Party announces first policies and campaigns". Women's Equality Party. 20 October 2015. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  14. ^ Minter, Harriet (21 October 2015). "The Women's Equality Party launch is not a moment too soon". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 21 October 2015.
  15. ^ Staff writer (25 July 2015). "Women's Equality Party to field candidates in assembly elections". BBC news: Wales politics. BBC. Retrieved 22 September 2015.
  16. ^ "Declaration of result: Women's Equality Party Leadership Election" (PDF). UK Engage. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 March 2018. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  17. ^ "Role description: Leader of the Women's Equality Party" (PDF). Election portal for the Women's Equality Party Leadership Election. Retrieved 8 March 2018.
  18. ^ Lo Dico, Joy (6 February 2016). "Sophie Walker: London is the worst place to live in the UK if you're a woman". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
  19. ^ "Sophie Walker: the power of 4 million". Women's Equality Party. 2016. Archived from the original on 26 December 2016. Retrieved 10 April 2016.
  20. ^ "General election 2017: Women's Equality Party leader to challenge MP Philip Davies". BBC News. 23 April 2017. Retrieved 23 April 2017.
  21. ^ Grant, Katie (9 June 2017). "Feminists 'devastated' Philip Davies re-elected to Shipley seat". i news.
  22. ^ Griffiths, Kathie (25 September 2017). "Shipley and Pudsey on leaked list of Conservative seats being targeted by Labour". Telegraph and Argus. Bradford, West Yorkshire. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  23. ^ Edwards, Peter (11 December 2017). "Labour picks child poverty expert to unseat Tory Brexiteer Philip Davies". LabourList. Retrieved 24 September 2018.
  24. ^ Smith, Reiss (24 April 2017). "Who is Sophie Walker? Women's Equality Party challenges Philip Davies in general election".
  25. ^ Walker, Sophie. "Grace Under Pressure". courage-is. Sophie Walker via Blogger.
  26. ^ Walker, Sophie (2012). Grace under pressure: going the distance as an Asperger's mum. London: Hachette Digital. ISBN 9781405516082.
  27. ^ Matthew Wright (presenter), Jordan Peterson (guest), Sophie Walker (guest) and Michael Fabricant (guest) (16 May 2018). Jordan Peterson discusses whether men and women can ever be equal (Television). The Wright Stuff. Channel 5 via YouTube. 1.40 minutes in. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  28. ^ Smyth, Chris (8 January 2018). "Universally challenged: Reading alumni team gets zero". The Times. Retrieved 8 January 2018.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Catherine Mayer and Sandi Toksvig
as co-founders
Leader of the Women's Equality Party
2015 - 2019
(22 July 2015 - 8 March 2018 as interim leader)
Title next held by
to be confirmed