LABOUR faced humiliation last night after the equalities watchdog rebuked the party over its decision to bar straight white men from attending an event next month.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) even warned the Young Labour's Equalities Conference – billed as a one-day gathering for disabled, LGBT, women and black, Asian and minority ethnic members – could even break race laws.
Remarkably, it is the second time in three weeks that the party has been rebuked by the EHRC after the watchdog launched a probe into whether Labour broke the law by offering cheaper tickets to black and ethnic minority members for a rally in the East Midlands later this month.
White heterosexual men are not listed as eligible to apply to attend the Young Labour's Equalities Conference on March 17 in central London.
Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen reported the organisation to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).
The watchdog said: "Barring members from participating in events or internal committee elections based on their self-defined race, sexuality, gender or disability, is unlawful discrimination unless it can be shown to be a proportionate way of addressing disadvantage or low levels of participation within party structures.
"We have written to Young Labour to ask them for their justification for these member restrictions."
The positions of women's, BAME, disabled, and LGBT+ representative will be elected at the Young Labour conference.
Heterosexual white men are not eligible to vote in the elections, as rules state only women can vote for the women's representative and only LGBT members can vote for the LGBT officer.
The election of equalities representatives cannot take place online as Labour does not have the relevant data on members' identities.
Most other positions on the National Committee are voted for using an online ballot.
Tory MP Andrew Bridgen last night told The Sun: "I'm pleased that the Equality Commission is looking into this and ruled it is illegal.
"I'm disappointed this is the second time in three weeks i've had to report the Labour party for breach of equality laws. Breaking equality laws is no way to increase participation by minority groups; equality laws are there to protect everyone."
The equalities watchdog has called for Labour to justify the decision to bar straight white men from attending an event and warned the move could be "unlawful discrimination".
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