Revealed: secret lessons to lure women voters

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The Independent Online
A secret Labour committee has approved a strategy designed to make the party's personalities, policies and presentation more appealing to women, writes Stephen Castle, Political Editor.

The group, which is made up of senior party figures and sympathisers, met in private on Monday and gave the go-ahead to a campaign called "Winning Words". Presentations will be made to candidates and party officials about how the Labour Party can bridge the so-called "gender gap". The suggestions will include:

Talk about people; don't use jargon, tell stories.

Be positive about Labour rather than negative about the Conservatives. Admit the Tories get it right sometimes.

Answer the question, don't evade in interviews.

Don't ghetto-ise women's issues. Make subjects like education and health care relevant.

Look the part, don't look a mess. Women will be judged more harshly by other women; they should dress smartly and wear make-up.

Talk about Britain; older women particularly are patriotic.

The committee includes the front-bencher Clare Short, Patricia Hewitt, the former press secretary to Neil Kinnock, Philip Gould, an adviser to Tony Blair, Carmen Callil, the publisher, and Helena Kennedy, the lawyer.

Ms Short said yesterday: "This is really serious, high-quality work. It is now being taken very seriously at all levels of the party."

Full story, page 6

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