Reforms cast aside by MPs

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Indy Politics
MALE traditionalists in the Parliamentary Labour Party have blocked recommendations to modernise MPs' working practises at Westminster and to help increase the numbers of women in the Shadow Cabinet, writes Patricia Wynn Davies.

At the weekly PLP meeting yesterday, MPs voted 50 to 43 to throw out the second report of the review group.

The result overturns a decision a week ago to increase from three to four the number of women candidates MPs would have to cast votes for in annual Shadow Cabinet elections. The overall aim of the report was to make the House of Commons a more civilised place to work.

Shadow Cabinet ministers said last night that John Smith, the Labour leader, would seek to overturn the vote. It led to acrimony at their weekly meeting last night, with some of those who voted against the move defending their stand.