Luke Akehurst

Please see below for NEC candidate Luke Akehurst's response to our letter on AWS


I am a long-standing and vocal supporter of AWS, and have blogged about this, including here:

As I say in the blog post, the principle of AWS needs to be stuck with until we get a PLP that represents the electorate and is at least 50% women. The only proven way to get there is AWS. In years where we have had AWS selections Labour has managed to get lots of women MPs selected and elected. In years where we haven’t, the numbers have gone backwards. This is something to be ashamed of. We shouldn’t need to force Constituency Labour Parties to pick women candidates but the reality is that left to their own devices, all but the most progressive pick men. Unless you believe women are less capable than men as politicians (which there is no evidence for) the only explanation must be conscious or unconscious discrimination by the format of the selection process itself or by members of what is supposed to be a party of the left.

If this discrimination didn’t exist then there would be no need for AWS, but it does, and we as a Party believe in equality, so we must use the only proven tool for tackling this, AWS.

When I was on the NEC Organisation Committee from 2010 to 2012 I voted for AWS selections in the face of severe political pressure for Open selections for seats such as Redcar and Bristol South.


Best wishes,