Labour faces backlash for banning straight white men from attending 'equalities' conference
- Labour equalities conference is only open to BAME, disabled, LGBT and women
- Conservative MPs say blocking white straight, able bodied men is discrimation
- Equality and Human Rights Commission is being asked to investigate the event
Labour was blasted today for banning old, white, able-bodied straight men from an event.
The party is inviting people to apply to join an equalities conference in London next month.
An advert for the Young Labour event said that to attend, an applicant had to be under 27 and had to ‘self-define’ as ‘one or more’ of four groups.
These are BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic), disabled, LGBT (lesbian, gay bi or trans) and women.
An advert for the Young Labour event said that to attend, an applicant had to be under 27 and had to ‘self-define’ as ‘one or more’ of four groups
Tory MP Andrew Bridgen has written to the Equality and Human Rights Commission to ask them to investigate whether the entry rules added up to ‘discrimination’.
He said: ‘The Labour Party are no longer about equality or fighting against discrimination, they have been entirely taken over by identity politics and specific groups of activists.
‘They are a divisive party who want to put people into victim groups. They seem to believe that white, male heterosexuals have nothing to contribute to the subject of equalities.
‘It seems that in La La Labour land everyone is equal but some are more equal than others.’
The row over the London Labour event comes just weeks after the party was forced to back down after offering people from ethnic minorities a discount to attend an East Midlands conference.
Members of the party’s BAME wing were offered tickets to the event for £30; £10 cheaper than other party members.
Mr Bridgen complained to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, describing it as a ‘racial surcharge’.
Labour later withdrew the subsidised tickets.
James Cleverly, the deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, said: ‘This is yet another example of discrimination by Labour.
‘Their lazy assumption that straight white men can’t fight for equality is shocking. It is essential that political parties represent each and every person irrespective of race, sexuality or age.
‘The Labour Party should take action now to ensure that this discrimination comes to an end.’
A spokeswoman for Labour said: ‘There is nothing new about spaces for people with protected characteristics meeting to discuss the inequalities and obstacles they face.
‘The purpose of this conference is to ensure that members from disadvantaged groups are able to elect representatives to Young Labour's National Committee.
James Cleverly, the deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, said it was 'yet another example of discrimination by Labour'
Tory MP Mr Cleverly took to Twitter to brand the equalities conference a 'Labour fail'
‘All other positions on the Committee are elected online, via a “one member one vote” system.’
The party said that in previous years there has been an annual Young Labour conference, open to all young members, where all representatives on the national committee were elected.
At the conference, equalities caucuses would elect the positions of women’s, BAME, disabled and LGBT representatives.
Young Labour now fills its committee positions via online voting, but the equalities representatives cannot be voted for in this way because Labour does not have the relevant data on members’ identity.
A conference therefore has to be held. Labour said that, given that the main purpose of the conference is to hold these elections, there would be no benefit to someone attending who could not vote in any of those elections.
[Colour fonts and bolding added.].