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Labour’s next leadership contest should be women-only, says Harman

Harriet Harman has called on her male colleagues to sit out the next Labour leadership contest and support female candidates instead.

She said the men could ‘jostle among themselves’ for the role of deputy.

Miss Harman, herself a former deputy leader under Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband, said: ‘There are lots of fantastic men in the Labour Party who would be more than capable of being leader – there’s no doubt about that.

‘And there are also lots of women who are more than capable of being leader and we’re going to choose one of the women. The men can jostle among themselves to be deputy.’

Harriet Harman has called on her male colleagues to sit out the next Labour leadership contest and support female candidates instead. She said the men could ‘jostle among themselves’ for the role of deputy

In an interview with The House magazine, Miss Harman, 67, also called for an end to parliamentary terms which refer to a politician’s gender, such as ‘Honourable Lady’.

Her views emerged as a female Labour MP vowed to resign if one of her male colleagues who is currently suspended following claims of sexual harassment, is allowed to question his alleged victim. 

Jess Phillips said she would cut up her membership card if activist Ava Etemadzadeh, 27, is subjected to an interview by MP Kelvin Hopkins during a Labour Party investigation.

Miss Etemadzadeh has accused Mr Hopkins, 76, of rubbing his crotch against her during an embrace at a political event in 2014, and sending her inappropriate texts. He denies the claims.

Yesterday Miss Etemadzadeh tweeted a letter from Labour officials which said Mr Hopkins would be able to ask her direct questions by audio-link.

She wrote: ‘@jeremycorbyn has kept me anxious and waiting over my complaint, now his team suggests I should face live questions from my harasser. In the interest of future victims, I have made it clear … that under no circumstances will I participate in any meeting of this nature.’

Miss Harman's views emerged as a female Labour MP vowed to resign if one of her male colleagues who is currently suspended following claims of sexual harassment, is allowed to question his alleged victim. Jess Phillips said she'd cut up her membership card if activist Ava Etemadzadeh, 27, is subjected to an interview by MP Kelvin Hopkins (above) during a Labour Party investigation

Miss Harman’s views emerged as a female Labour MP vowed to resign if one of her male colleagues who is currently suspended following claims of sexual harassment, is allowed to question his alleged victim. Jess Phillips said she’d cut up her membership card if activist Ava Etemadzadeh, 27, is subjected to an interview by MP Kelvin Hopkins (above) during a Labour Party investigation

Mrs Phillips lent her support, tweeting: ‘I swear to god if this is true – and I really hope it’s a misunderstanding – I will cut up my Labour Party membership card.’ 

Fellow Labour MP Sarah Champion tweeted: ‘In Parliament, I argue with my colleagues to prevent alleged abusers of domestic violence and coercive control cross-examine their victims – how is this different?’

Labour later said that instead Mr Hopkins would be allowed to submit written questions to her at a hearing in front of Labour’s National Constitutional Committee.

Miss Etemadzadeh said: ‘It will remind me of the things I went through. I would not feel comfortable.

‘This system written on the back of a fag packet when I made my complaint, being interpreted entirely in Kelvin Hopkins’ favour, is not fit for purpose.’

She learned of the arrangement for the hearing from emails sent to her by Labour’s investigating officer, she said. One said: ‘The complainants will not be in the same room but there will be an opportunity for Kelvin to put questions to the complainants.’

Labour guidelines on sex harassment hearings say the complainant and defendant should not meet face to face.

The party said it ‘takes all complaints of harassment extremely seriously’.



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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