NEC decides list of open vs AWS for CLPs replacing MPs stepping down

Ten local parties selecting new MPs to be told whether open or female-only list of potential candidates
Ashfield MP Gloria de Piero, one of the MPs who has indicated she will not stand

Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) has decided whether ten seats being vacated by retiring incumbent MPs will select their replacements from open lists of potential candidates or from all-women shortlists (AWS).

The seats in question and the NEC decision are listed below:

  • Ashfield: current MP Gloria de Piero. AWS
  • Blyth Valley: current MP Ronnie Campbell. AWS
  • City of Durham: current MP Roberta Blackman-Woods. AWS
  • Coventry North West: current MP Geoffrey Robinson. Open
  • Ealing North: current MP Stephen pound. Open
  • Erith & Thamesmead: current MP Teresa Pearce. AWS
  • Liverpool West Derby: current MP Stephen Twigg. Open
  • Poplar & Limehouse: Current MP Jim Fitzpatrick. AWS
  • Rother Valley: current MP Kevin Barron. Open
  • Vauxhall: current MP Kate Hoey. Open

Tom Watson, AWOL since Jeremy Corbyn called his bluff last week by inviting MPs of different parties to work with him to prevent a hard Brexit, participated in the NEC vote.

Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy has claimed the list does not “champion equality”. However, while six of the above seats are currently occupied by men, five of the ten have been designated AWS. Even in the unlikely event that male candidates are selected in all of the “open” seats, the number of women MPs will increase.

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    1. Hundreds of years of male discrimination needs some short term remedying

      1. It’s not a remedy. Discrimination is discrimination. Equality is equality, and democracy – whatever else – is definitely not served by excluding 50% of the relevant population.


        In practical terms – it’s a fantastic ploy for those wanting to manipulate elections.

        Now let’s talk about properly rectifying gender imbalances without exploiting victimhood..

  1. In a society that discriminates against women it has been important to balance by advantages for equal representation, but at some point it can’t continue as it is unfair to men. Is that time now?

  2. Stella Creasey says that the List does not champion equality. While it is absolutely clear that the list treats men unfairly she is not referring to this .
    Instead she means that the it does not sufficiently promote the interests of women.
    I would ask -Why should it? Why should she expect preferential treatment for women?
    Stella clearly does not agree with the merit principle –
    selecting the best person for the job. She wants women to be selected whether or not they are the best candidates.
    I understand it is harder in some cases for women to gain the experience which would make them the best candidates due to e.g. caring responsibilities. However the answer is to address the issues which prevent women fully participating in the party at the outset, not giving them free run during the PPC selection process later on .
    This is completely unfair to male candidates and cannot be justified. It is also unfair to our voters who are entitled to the best candidate irrespective of gender.

    1. PS I see Harriet Harman who apparently aspires to act as Prime Minister if the VONC in Johnson is carried deplores the fact that AWS have not been applied to more constituencies .She has always been very much in favour of them – except in Erdington

  3. A truly democratic party wouldn’t sexually discriminate in this manner. It would have open selections for all seats. AWS just sends the message that women aren’t capable of competing on an equal footing and need gerrymandering in order to succeed. It’s not progressive in the slightest. Women should be chosen because they’re the best candidate, not because they help fill an arbitrary quota.

  4. Sexism. Breaks the very rules they themselves set in place. Or does sexism only count when it refers to an all male selection?

  5. Have to say , not really bothered too much about gender right now , more important IMO is if they are good Socialists who will whole heartedly support JC

  6. With so many in the PLP openly hostile to socialism,we should have automatic exclusion of any candidate that thinks what it says on the back of the card SOCIALIST…….is not an optional choice.We must only select people who are dedicated to democratizing the Labour party and understand the responsibility for voting for socialist principles!

    1. Actually, that’s the only discrimination that I support. Candidates should be discriminated for the political views that they hold by the local CLP. They’re in the Labour Party and should promote the interests of the working class, male or female. Anyone who can’t abide to that shouldn’t really be a Labour candidate, male or female. It’s socialist policies and education that’ll encourage sexual equality.

      The real losers in this partonising AWS isn’t men, it’s the CLPs who can’t have a freehand in selecting the best candidate for the role of representing the local party in Parliament.

  7. I assume we’d prefer candidates to have the potential to be more than lobby fodder.
    To choose well we should probably test their ability quickly to master briefs such as would be presented by civil servants to ministers by the box load.
    MP’s should have the intellect not to need much in the way of guidance so they won’t be stumped by the unprepared-for questions the BBC will throw at them.

    1. Oh yeah, gender… I don’t care about numbers.
      What I care about is that they run rings around the MSM and the Tories.

    2. David….not wishing to be too negative,but providing we have a good wipping system and these people are socialist and loyal then nothing could be worse than the shower of backstabbing right wing infiltrators we have now!.And….do the BBC interview Labour anymore……Ambush more like or get one of the usual suspects to bore us all.We need a few media savy agresive spokesman who take on the media…..and get the message across and ignore the traps we continually fall for……apart from that……..? ? ?

  8. Does this list mean that ‘suitable candidates’ aka PC candidates have already been identified by NEC in these constituencies?

    1. What !maria would be if the NEC.parachute candidates in like the blair years… And will the candidate’s be blairights.. I am beginning to lose trust in our NEC,and am not impressed with ignoring the CLP s who’s job is to select candidates.No wonder they are keen to get rid of Chris Williamson and his democracy road show,,and Chris as well… Possibly us that support him as I presume they can read? ?

  9. Just as a sidelight on this issue – the most fervent, female, feminist and effective Labour Party politicians I have known wouldn’t give single gender shortlists the time of day.

    1. Very true RH…..most of us are more worried about the standard and loyalty than gender etc.Again I notice we are attacked in the media by the usual suspects despite having more woman than any of them other party’s….anything to slag their own party and be recognised by the media….Chancers Harman clones and all the rest?….

    2. In a previous existence, I used to represent a ward that would be stereotyped as having all the prejudices of a traditional Labour ward. Rabid feminism was not a noticeable characteristic 🙂

      But that ward has consistently selected two female Councillors *without* the device of AWSs, and *never* less than one in the time I spent there..

      It might be more constructive to look at what the *actual* barriers to women’s participation might be rather than assuming it’s to do with inherent prejudice.

      My cynical side notes how few male advocates of AWS in rock-solid safe seats have stepped down to allow a woman to take their place. It further notes that eliminating 50% of the potential candidates is a great aid to manipulating elections.

  10. AWS is BULLSHIT. The best PERSON for the job should get the job. Talk about anti-democratic.

  11. If it was my CLP representative I would want the person that most represents my politics. The gender of that person is of no consequence to me.

  12. I am concerned about the selection of Councillors in my CLP. Candidates with less than one years membership are being approved who are not even turning up to branch meetings and have no track record of their campaigning, loyalty or attitudes at all. Some who have worked hard and eminently suitable are being rejected. Also in one ward, an all women’s shortlist rule has been ignored even though their are three males there in an all up election. What can be done about this?

    1. Surely reporting your concerns in writing to Labour in Southside would be most appropriate and have the best chance of being investigated?
      I’m assuming you believe local and regional officers are complicit.

  13. Let’s not piss about :

    Bottom line : anyone subscribing to, embracing or endorsing single gender shortlists isn’t capable of taking a leading role in a progressive democratic organisation. By definition, they have no real solutions to offer – only electoral engineering.

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