This blog does not have a very high opinion of Harriet Harman. Her good work on gender equality has, sadly, been more than offset by her support for Blairism, her attempt to exempt MPs expenses from the Freedom of Information Act and, latterly, her willingness to damage Labour electorally by ridiculous criticism of Jeremy Corbyn’s appointment of the first-ever majority female Shadow Cabinet – for sexism.
But this writer agrees with her on one thing.
In November last year, Ms Harman called for the creation of a second deputy-leader position in the Labour party – one who would be elected from among the party’s female MPs.
At the time. Ms Harman made her call “[s]o we would have a leadership team of three, of which one would be a woman and she would be there in her own right, not appointed by Jeremy.”
The SKWAWKBOX agrees that the creation of a female deputy leader position would be a very positive step for the party. But given the current rules around nominations, the incumbent should either be appointed by the leader or, preferably, elected in an open election by all members – that is, any female MP is free to stand without requiring a minimum number of nominations.
Labour has an outstanding contingent of female MPs, but it would be a travesty if members were not able to select from among the best of them because of a blocking move by the parliamentary party’s right-wing faction.
The leadership, the NEC and all members should work towards this in the shortest possible timescale.
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