Regional Liaison sends submission of CLP to Labour Party HQ regarding All Women Shortlist | Sonia Wright

“The Forest of Dean CLP held their consultation meeting on Tuesday 18th December. The meeting was attended by approximately 24 members. Before the meeting branches in the CLP had the opportunity to discuss their views on whether the CLP should be an AWS or open selection- this was fed back to the meeting Lydney Branch overwhelmingly supported AWS whilst the others supported Open selections. The GC discussed the benefits of having an AWS, and in the event of not having an AWS what actions could be undertaken to ensure women candidates come forward. There was a general agreement that having an AWS would increase female participation in the CLP by supporting and empowering women and it could encourage more electors to participate in elections. It was also noted that much more needs to be done to engage women to run for MP and get equal representation. There was a counter view, the Forest struggles to engage women to run for local elections so finding local women for an AWS could be hard and the view that an open selection process would allow a broad panel of candidates – concern was also raised that if a snap election happened, someone external to the CLP might not have the chance to build a profile in the constituency. The CLP acknowledged that representation of women locally is poor and more work needs to be done to identify and encourage women to stand for positions. More needs to be done to make meetings welcoming to women and that parliament itself can do more to encourage women by being more aware of the issues that prevent women from running for parliament. The CLP was fairly split, an indicative vote was narrowly in favour of AWS.”