Scottish Daily Mail

Labour event you can’t go to if you’re a straight white non-disabled man

- By Daniel Martin Policy Editor

LABOUR was condemned last night for banning white, able-bodied, heterosexu­al men from an event.

An advert for a Young Labour equalities conference in London next month said those wanting to attend must be under 27 and ‘self-define’ as a member of ‘one or more’ of four groups.

These are BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic), disabled, LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgende­r) and women.

Andrew Bridgen, the Tory MP for North West Leicesters­hire, wrote to the Equality and Human Rights Commission last night asking it to investigat­e whether the entry rules amounted 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.’

He added: ‘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 weeks after the party was forced to back down on a deal 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 for other party members.

Mr Bridgen complained to the Equality and Human Rights Commission at the time, describing it as a ‘racial surcharge’. Labour later withdrew the subsidised tickets.

Responding to the latest case, Conservati­ve Party deputy chairman James Cleverly 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 spokesman 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.

‘All other positions on the committee are elected online, via a one-member-one-vote system.’

The party said that in previous years there had 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 its equalities representa­tives cannot be voted for in this way because the party does not have the relevant data on members’ identity. It must therefore hold a conference.

Labour said 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.

‘Some more equal than others’

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