All-women shortlist for both Wigan seats

A major internal row has broken out after Labour chiefs voted to veto male candidates in BOTH Wigan Parliamentary seats.

The party's London-based NEC hierarchy decided late yesterday that the battles to replace MPs Neil Turner and Ian McCartney will be fought out with all-female short lists.

Activitists in both borough Constituency Labour Parties (CLP) admitted that they were "gobsmacked" by the shock decision.

One said today: "I think a local male candidate would have had a fighting chance but if it is a woman foisted on the Wigan party and the Wigan people it will be a disaster."