The UK’s Labour party faces accusations of discrimination for banning white, heterosexual, non-disabled men from an “equalities conference”.
Tory MP Andrew Bridgen complained to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission about the entry rules for a youth activists gathering organised by Jeremy Corbyn’s party next month.
Mr Bridgen said: “Labour is now a very divisive party which seems to want to divide up our country into various victim groups.”
The Young Labour Equalities Conference in London on March 17 restricted attendance to those who “self-define” into categories – black, Asian and minority ethnic, disabled, LGBT lesbian, gay, bi and trans and women.
Mr Bridgen told the watchdog: “It is another breach of equalities law by the Labour Party. It appears that people who are white, male, heterosexual and not disabled are banned from the conference. Could you inform me if this clear discrimination breaches equality laws?
“I am sure you will again take the appropriate action.
“Do you believe, as it seems the Labour Party do, that white male heterosexuals have no interest or anything to contribute regarding the issue of equality?”
Tory MP James Cleverly, the deputy chairman of the Conservative Party, said: “This is yet another example of discrimination by Labour. “
Their lazy assumption that straight white men can’t fight for equality is shocking. It is essential that political parties represent each and every person irrespective of race, sexuality or age.
“The Labour Party should take action now to end this discrimination.”
Labour officials claimed the differential charges encouraged people from under-represented groups to attend the event.
Responding to the latest row, a Labour Party spokesman said: “There is nothing new about spaces for people with protected characteristics meeting to discuss the inequalities and obstacles they face.
“The purpose of this conference is to ensure that members from disadvantaged groups are able to elect representatives to Young Labour’s National Committee. All other positions on the Committee are elected online, via a ‘one member one vote’ system.