Christine Shawcroft

Please see below for NEC candidate Christine Shawcroft's response to our letter on AWS

I have campaigned for better representation for women as long as I've been in the Labour Party - which is a very long time! I was heavily involved in CLPD's Women's Action Committee campaign to democratise the Women's Conference, have the women's places on the NEC elected by women (not Conference), and get 50% women MPs.

First we fought for one woman on every shortlist (amazingly, all-male shortlists were the norm), then for 50% women on every shortlist.

As CLPs continued to elect male candidates, in the end All Women Shortlists were the only answer. Since we have been enforcing these on the NEC, especially where women MPs are standing down (or we'll go backwards, not forwards) there have been howls of protest from CLPs. Everyone swears they support AWS, but they think another CLP should have one not them! They insist they want to select "the best person for the job". (Was the "best person" selected when there were all male shortlists? Really??) I'm afraid this attitude shows why we need to persevere. Local members seem to have a mental image of an MP when they vote in selections  - and that image is of a white man in a suit. We also have problems selecting BAME candidates and candidates of working class origin, of course.

But in answer to LWN's question - yes, I very much support AWS, I will continue to support them if I'm re-elected, and I will do my best to try and calm the fears of those CLPs who think they won't get the "best" candidate.