White candidates should be barred from standing for Parliament - says Labour report
By News Team ⋅ February 10, 2008
White candidates should be barred from standing for Parliament in up to eight constituencies in order to get more black and Asian MPs elected, says a controversial report commissioned by Labour’s deputy leader, Harriet Harman.
Positive discrimination is illegal in the UK, but the report concludes that, without a change in the law allowing parties to impose all-black shortlists, it would take more than 75 years for Britain’s ethnic make-up to be fairly reflected at Westminster.
Harman is understood to be still considering the report’s findings in detail, but has expressed personal support for a change. However, Vaz is lobbying Harman for the measure to be included in a bill on equality issues later this year - meaning it could be on the statute book by 2009. ‘She is the person who has a huge history of supporting these issues,’ he added.
Woolley said that a change in the law could help the Tories by putting David Cameron’s A-List - a pool of candidates, many of them women or from ethnic minorities, singled out for the fast track to the irritation of some white men - on a firm legal footing.