White men have been urged not to “dominate” speaking slots at Labour Party conference.
During a debate on housing and transport, the chairman of the session noted the people putting their hands up to contribute did “not reflect the diversity” of those in the hall.
Mark Ferguson, a member of Labour’s National Executive Committee, told delegates in Brighton: “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.”
To laughter, he added: “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 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.”
The member chairing each session asks those in attendance if they wish to speak and chooses people from those who have their hands raised.