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Labour party women ban male members from attending 'What Women Want forum'

September 12, 2011 - London

Female members of the Labour party will reportedly hold a 'What Women Want forum' at this month's annual party conference, from which men will be barred.

The debate has the backing of senior MPs, including deputy leader Harriet Harman, Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper, the Labour leader in the Lords, Baroness Royall, and the Shadow Attorney General, Baroness Scotland, the Daily Mail reports.

Reports suggest that issues, which the party regards as women-sensitive - such as childcare, the National Health Service (NHS) and education - will be debated, along with possible amendments to party regulations.

Besides, the party's 81 women MPs are expected to advocate that the party should always have a woman as either its leader or deputy leader.

Although less than a third of the party's 258 MPs are women, men will be barred from the discussion, which will be held on the first day of the conference in Liverpool on September 25.

Labour leader Ed Miliband has reportedly been invited to open the debate, but will not be permitted to take part in it.

"It will be an open mic event - Harriet, Yvette and others are simply presiding over an uprising. Ed will be there as an honorary woman. The Labour Party is in the best position to make policy on all the key issues because we have key women in the NHS, in education, in all the important areas," a party source said.

There are concerns that the enforcement of quotas will revive the 'Loony Left' label that Labour acquired in the 1980s, when an obsession with minority and fringe issues, including sexism, made the party unelectable, the paper said.


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