Search

Tory contender for Hampstead and Kilburn attacks Labour’s all-women shortlists

12:29 27 June 2013

Simon Marcus, Conservative candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn, has attacked the use of an all-women shortlist to choose his Labour opponent. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Simon Marcus, Conservative candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn, has attacked the use of an all-women shortlist to choose his Labour opponent. Picture: Nigel Sutton

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

The Conservative candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn – the Tories’ top target seat – has attacked the use of an all-women shortlist to choose his Labour opponent.

Only women have been allowed to enter the contest to succeed Glenda Jackson as Labour’s candidate, as the party attempts to drive up the number of female MPs.

But Tory contender Cllr Simon Marcus, representing Hampstead Town ward on Camden Council, branded the tactic “patronising”.

He said: “The message an all-women shortlist sends out is that a woman can only win if you shut out half the population from applying.

“The women I speak to in the Tory party want to make it on their own abilities. A lot of them have told me they think quotas are patronising and reinforce prejudice.”

Cllr Marcus added that he works with the Conservative Women’s Organisation to try to get more women into politics.

His comments came as the Labour candidacy battle hots up, with a final decision due on July 14.

Ms Jackson, who is standing down at the 2015 election, dismissed Mr Marcus’s remarks as just “another example” of the Conservatives “dragging their heels in opposing this kind of prejudice against women candidates”.

Referring to her own electoral record, she added: “I can well understand his anxiety – it’s a woman representing my party who has defeated his party five times in general elections.”

But some women’s groups were reluctant to support the measure.

Claire Glasman of Winvisible, a Kentish Town-based organisation that fights for women with disabilities, said: “We would like to support women-only shortlists, but the sad reality is that many of the policies that hit women hardest are coming from women in Parliament.”

Meanwhile, Mike Katz, a Labour councillor representing Kilburn ward, admitted he would have been a candidate if allowed.

“On a personal level, I was disappointed,” he said. “But I understand the party’s decision.”

Some 31 per cent of Labour MPs are women, while that figure is 16 per cent for the Conservatives.

Labour has vowed to use all-women shortlists in about 50 per cent of main target seats and in many constituencies it already holds, such as Hampstead and Kilburn.

Labour will defend a majority of just 42 votes in the constituency.

0 comments

Latest News Stories

19:51
Naushad Faruk. Picture: Central News.

A famous glamour model from Camden sobbed as she described how a cameraman persuaded her to engage in a sex act with him by threatening to take away the Chihuahua puppy he had given her as a gift.

18:40
Jihadi John

The secondary school that ISIS executioner ‘Jihadi John’ attended in St John’s Wood has said it is ‘shocked and sickened by the news’.

18:14
A swastika has been daubed at the top of Highgate West Hill in Highgate

A police investigation has been launched as more offensive swastika signs have been found graffitied on notice boards and bus shelters near Hampstead Heath.

14:26
Firefighters at the block of flats in Pilgrim's Lane, Hampstead. Picture: Kate Samuelson

A fire that burned behind walls and under floors has caused damage to a block of flats in Hampstead.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

The latest North London property news and features straight into your inbox.

Other Emails:
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Among the charitable causes the prince hopes to champion are wildlife conservation and justice for injured service personnel.

Although Farage may not have mentioned the fascist pre-conference entertainment, his speech showed he’s very aware of his party’s image.

Leonard Nimoy is currently dominating six of the top trend slots on Twitter. His fans, friends and co-stars should be proud.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24
Our trusted business finder