International News Sep 26, 2021 6:58 PM EST

Labour executive complains that 'too many white men' were speaking at conference

"I am afraid, and I am not speaking from a position of particular strength here, there are too many white men putting their hands up," the National Executive Committee member told the Labour Party delegates at the annual conference.

Labour executive complains that 'too many white men' were speaking at conference
James Anthony Montreal QC
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During an annual British Labour Party conference, session chairman Mark Ferguson, a member of the party's National Executive Committee, chided the "white men" in the crowd for putting their hands up to speak.

According to British television news channel GB News, the delegates in Brighton were engaged in a debate on housing and transportation, and the floor had just opened up for those present to express themselves. The member chairing each session is tasked with asking those in attendance if they wish to contribute to the discusion and chooses speakers from those who have their hands raised.

Ferguson, instead of deciding from among prospective debaters volunteering to speak, said: "I am afraid, and I am not speaking from a position of particular strength here, there are too many white men putting their hands up."

He added glibly: "I am not anti-white men, some of my favourite people are – my dad’s a white man. But I do not want white men to exclusively dominate this or any other debate at this conference and following on from my comrade [sic] in the chair this morning, I do wish to see the diversity of the hall reflected."

"I'm not putting anybody on the spot here, but if you want to speak do not be afraid to put your hand up, we want to hear from you, this is an inclusive conference," Ferguson told the audience of delegates.

The racial incident parallels a similar event that happened at Arizona State University, where white students were told to leave a "multicultural" space.

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