Labour needs a ban on all-male leadership, the party’s former acting leader Harriet Harman has said.
She called for a change in the Labour party’s rules whilst speaking to BBC Newsnight: “We can’t have a men-only leadership when we are party for women and equality,” she said.
“Women expect to see men and women working together and we can’t have an all-male leadership again and therefore we need to change the rules.”
Her comments come as Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn reshuffles his cabinet by appointing men to all three shadow “great offices of state” which includes chancellor, foreign secretary and home secretary.
He is now under pressure to reshuffle his front bench this week. Currently Labour’s leader, deputy leader, chair and London mayoral candidates are all male despite 43% of the party’s MPs being female.
Harman was acting Labour leader for four months after the party lost the election in 2015.
Shadow cabinet members allegedly under threat include defence secretary Maria Eagle and chief whip Dame Rosie Winterton.
Jess Phillips, was elected for Birmingham Yardley in 2015, and has also criticised Corbyn’s recent decision to not put women in senior positions: “Had Tony Blair not given any of top jobs to the women – had that same make-up of his team existed – people would rightly have been up in arms,” she told BBC Newsnight.
“But it’s a bit like some people in the Labour Party are accepting low-level non-violent misogyny because it’s Jeremy doing it.”
A recent report from the Fabian Society drew the conclusion that the Labour party has “poor representation of women at all levels”.
The report also found that women standing as Labour parliamentary candidates were almost three times more likely than men to be asked questions relating to their gender.