Labour defends Birmingham rally where men and women sat separately

A Labour spokesman insisted there was 'no forced segregation'

Labour has defended an election rally where men and women sat separately after Conservative candidates called the event 'wholly unacceptable.'

The rally in Birmingham was advertised as having a 'women's section' and photos taken at the event show men and women sitting apart.

The party has been slammed by Conservative candidates who claim it contradicted Labour's values, and also said that it undermined a century of women's rights.

But a Labour spokesman insisted there was no 'forced segregation' and said: 'Labour fully supports gender equality in all areas of society and all cultures.'

'Equally, we support those who are breaking down barriers where inequality remains.'

He added: 'There was no forced segregation. Speakers at the event included both women and men. Everyone was together in one room and all were treated equally and respectfully.'

The seating arrangements ensured women from Muslim communities could take part.

Labour MPs and candidates have previously turned down requests to speak at events due to be attended by a largely Muslim audience because only men were invited.

Author's comment: The Labour spokesman is being disingenuous (no surprises there.) The point is not that there was 'no forced segregation' (because the women may have chosen to sit separately to avoid a beating from their husbands afterwards) - the point is that such segregation at public events should be prohibited by law, in order to encourage the integration, assimilation and community cohesion that Labour is always telling the rest of us is such a good thing.

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