Wales politics

Labour row over all-women shortlist in Cynon Valley constituency

Image caption Welsh Labour says it has a proud record of increasing diversity in politics

Labour party members in a south Wales valleys constituency have cancelled a meeting to select a replacement parliamentary candidate after being told it must be an all-women shortlist.

The Cynon Valley constituency needs a replacement as MP Ann Clwyd retires at next year's general election.

Local secretary Alun Williams said they wanted to find the best candidate regardless of their sex.

Welsh Labour says it has a proud record of increasing diversity in politics.

Mr Williams said: "Our members made clear to the Labour Party nationally that we were opposed to an all-women shortlist but our views were ignored.

"We are angry that we are being taken for granted."

He added the constituency had a "proud record of supporting women in political activity" with a MP, AM and women Labour councillors on Rhondda Cynon Taf council.

'Female representation'

"We are sending a letter of protest to the Labour Party general secretary and asking for an urgent meeting," he said.

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Media captionAlun Williams says views of constituency members have been "totally ignored"

Ms Clwyd was first elected at the 1984 Cynon Valley by-election and was the fourth woman elected for a Welsh constituency.

A Welsh Labour Party spokesman said: "Labour lead the way on female representation in Wales with more women MPs, AMs and councillors than any other party and we will continue to do so."

The decision to extend the use of all-women shortlists was taken in May by a sub-committee of Labour's National Executive Committee.

It means at least half of its 18 new candidates in 2015 will be women after selections in Cynon Valley and Swansea East as MP Sian James is also standing down at next year's election.

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