News from the Ealing by election, where Cllr Sonika Nirwal, Leader of Labour's opposition group of Ealing Council has been ditched in favour of an all-male shortlist. A National Executive Committee (NEC) supervised meeting picked a shortlist of two men, veteran Ealing councillor Virendra Sharma and Oxford-educated barrister Jo Sidhu. Cllr Sharma, who has long fancied the seat, is hotly-tipped to win the internal selection tomorrow. There is speculation that another veteran Ealing councillor, Gurcharan Singh, may run as an independent after he failed to make the Southall shortlist.
Of course, the bigger story from Ealing Southall is that if the selection had prooceeded in the normal way, it would have been an All-Women Shortlist. Instead, it is an all-male shortlist. And Harriet Harman is the party chairman responsible for all this shambles. So much for her pledges on increasing the number of women in parliament. In her first act as party chair she's carved out all the women!
UPDATE 9.56am: According to THIS wikipedia entry edited last night, Virendra Sharma has already been selected!