The Party has confirmed its list of candidates to stand in the south London seat must “guarantee” places for women from BAME backgrounds. Earlier this year, Vauxhall MP Kate Hoey, announced she will not stand in the next general election after 30 years. On announcing the decision, Labour said: “We passed a motion requesting that the next Labour MP for Vauxhall be selected from an All Woman Shortlist.
“The shortlist must also guarantee places for women from BAME backgrounds given the diversity of our constituency.”
However, it’s strategy has been widely criticised.
James Cleverly, Chairman of the Conservative Party, said: “I’m curious.
“Is this because you think that women aren’t as good as men and need special treatment?
“Or do you think that your association is sexist and can’t be trusted to pick a woman on merit?”
The remarks by the Tory chief were echoed by several disgruntled users on social media.
One Twitter user wrote: “Embarrassing. You set women back years by disbelieving in their ability to compete on a level playing field.”
Another user said: “Again, Labour accuse others of tokenism, yet they are deliberately selecting women, not on merit, just to fill some quota.”
Whilst a third said: “You can’t select people for a position based on their gender or background.
“It should be based on your ability to do the job, nothing more, nothing less.
“Stop creating inequality in our country!”
Labour has since defenced the decision and stated the method had been used before to elect the now Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner, and Shadow Business Secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey.
It added: “If the Labour Party continues to use AWS in the way that it has done for the last 4 elections we will be the first major political party in the UK to achieve 50 percent women MPs.
“Without AWS we could easily go backwards, as we did in 2001 when AWS was not used.
“In an ideal world, candidates would be selected on merit alone, and we would not need to use AWS.
“Unfortunately, all the evidence is that women do not have a level playing field, and, if we truly believe in equality, we need to do something proactive to even things up.”
But it comes after Theresa May used her last Prime Minister’s Questions to ridicule the Labour Party and Jeremy Corbyn for being the only mainstream UK party not to have had a female leader.
Following the last election in 2017, 208 women was elected into the House of Commons.
For Labour 45 percent were female.
In the Conservative party 21 percent were female.
Express.co.uk has contacted Labour for further comment.