The National Executive Committee of the Labour Party has met, and my man on that Committee notes the following, especially that the Organising Committee has met to decide on parliamentary selections - it needs to where there is a proposal that the normal rule should not be followed. The national rule is that where the last Labour MP was a woman the shortlist should be all women. This was followed in Reading East in 2010, and the latest decision is to depart from that in several constituencies, including Crewe and Nantwich (the late Gwyneth Dunwoody, anybody?), and - you're ahead of me - Reading East. My fly on the wall at the NEC, nice chap that he is, must buy him a drink next time we meet, comments in this way:
I thought you would be interested to note that Reading East is selecting from an open shortlist. This goes completely against the Labour Party's national policy - re-affirmed only recently, that where the last Labour MP was a woman, the new parliamentary candidate should always be selected form an All Woman shortlist.
Well, yes. Now, who lobbied them? And why?
Stampede of interested chaps?