Remembering Dr Peter Jepson – the man who defeated Labour’s sexist all-women shortlists

At HEqual our content is designed to be as unique as possible. We don’t republish content hosted elsewhere, nor do we reiterate other stories unless we can expand on them significantly and/or expose a new angle. In fact, were the media to do their jobs properly and report on men’s issues then the majority of HEqual content simply wouldn’t exist. In the light of the above, we’re duty-bound to (extremely belatedly) report on the passing of Dr. Peter Jepson.

Dr. Jepson, originally from Oldham, was a lecturer at University College London. He later taught law at Strode College in Egham, and regularly stood as a Labour Party candidate in local elections. While many readers here may not share his highly left-wing political views, he was undoubtedly hard-working , being self-taught, and would certainly have outshone some Labour MPs in Parliament. However, he was denied the opportunity to contest two separate London seats for the party, not due to any lack of experience or skill, nor becasue of his particular set of political beliefs, but simply on the grounds that he happened to be a man.Peter Jepson.jpg

Thankfully, Dr. Jepson stood up against such horrific discrimination , and instead of quietly accepting such treatment, he took on the might of the entire Labour Party and its powerful legal team. Dr. Jepson, known as Mr Jepson back then having not yet completed his PhD, began proceedings in March 1995 at an Industrial tribunal. Later, in August, he also took on the case of  Roger Dyas-Elliott, who had similarly been denied the chance of becoming a Labour MP in Keighley, West Yorkshire.

Labour’s response to Jepson was to to go all-out in mounting their defence. They employed expensive legal counsel, led by James Goudie QC, a personal friend of Tony Blair who was also Labour’s Legal Affairs spokesman in the House of Lords. Few thought Jepson had any real chance in what was billed as a David and Golliath. The contrasts in the case couldn’t have been more stark, Labour’s defence was massively resourced with the best lawyers available, whilst the self-taught Jepson was given £750 by the EOC and  represented himself with some assistance from a newly qualified volunteer barrister.

In court, Dr. Jepson stated that he and Dyas-Elliot had been illegally barred from applying to be considered to represent the party and that the policy contradicted Labour’s policy of aiming to promote equality of opportunity. He claimed that Labour’s actions were a breach of the 1975 Sex Discrimination Act.

The case came to a close in January 1996 and the outcome was simply spectacular. The tribunal found the Labour Party had broken the law, unanimously ruling that all-women shortlists were illegal in preventing men from entering a profession. The party didn’t even attempt to appeal the decision and was forced to abandon the illegal selection process. There were four seats in which all women shortlists had been imposed and the candidate not yet selected, and thus the party had to restart selection proceedings entirely in these locations. However, Labour chose not to reselect candidates in 38 seats where All Women short-lists had already been used, This in itself was quite incredible and means 38 candidates went into the election having benefited from illegal sex discrimination. 35 of them were successful, and thus benefited from a breach of the law to get into power.

It’s very interesting to look back on these politicians who got into Parliament with the help of this breach of sex discrimination laws. They included:

  • Fiona McTaggart – a radical feminist millionaire , known for her support of violent protests and lying about / fabricating statistics related to sex workers.
  • Helen Brinton/Clark – an utterly inept politician, perfectly summed up by her famous abusive drunken melt-down
  • Margaret Moran – another radical feminist and one of the most corrupt individuals in Parliament. Moran’s fraudulent expense claims the 2008 expenses scandal dwarfed those of any of the other fraudsters, and while some of her colleagues illegally switched their main home designation between two properties to claim extra expenses on refurbishment and upgrades, she was already busy claiming on a third property!
  • Jacqui Smith – Radical feminist, expense fiddler and one of the most incompetent Home Secretaries of all time who was clearly hopelessly out of her depth.

The secretary of the Brentford and Isleworth constituency party which illegally rejected Jepson argued (irrelevantly) that Jepson would have stood no chance of selection, claiming: “we would be more likely to have Margaret Thatcher to Christmas dinner than to select him”. So which candidate did the constituents instead “benefit” from via the imposed and illegal sexist shortlist? Looking back, we see that Ann Keen was selected for the seat. Keen had an mostly unremarkable career in politics, other than her involvement in the expenses scadndal, in which she and her husband (and fellow MP) became known as “Mr and Mrs Expenses” due to their outrageously high expense claims. Keen was kicked out of office by her constituents at the first chance when her expense claims came to light. Perhaps her most notable “achievement” in politics was the run the campaign to elect Michael Martin as speaker of the House of Commons, a position from which he was forced to resign in disgrace.

The identity of the  constituency party secretary above who was so vociferous in his rejection of Jepson as a candidate was none other than Phil Woolas. Mr Woolas had previously worked for BBC Newsnight, and actually also stood for election in 1997. By strange coincide, the seat he won was that of Oldham, which was Jepson’s birth place. Woolas’ behaviour during his 2010 election campaign was such that it was found to be an illegal breach of the Representation of the People Act.  He not only had his narrow election “victory” declared null a void, he was also barred from even standing for office owing to his behaviour.

In some ways, Jepson’s victory might be considered to be a little short-lived. Labour disgracefully rewrote the law to make sexism against men by political parties legal. However, it took them until 2002 to pass the legislation, meaning Jepson successfully eliminated the use of the sexist short-lists not just for part of the 1997 election, but for the entire 2001 General Election too, undoubtedly saving us from many more sub-standard politicians selected not via merit but via sexist means. Jepson twice analysed the new legislation on his website, noting the ways in which it is still illegal.

Perhaps most importantly of all, it should be noted that Labour’s 2002 legislation to legalise sexism was not retrospective, meaning the illegal nature of the section of the 38 candidates continues to remain illegal to this day. This of course means we had 35 Labour MPs in Parliament who obtained their place their thanks to illegal sex discrimination. Several the 35 still remain in Parliament today, and I dare say it would be nice to see people remind them of such uncomfortable home truths.

Dr Peter Jepson passed away on 11 March 2017 at the age of 66. Some readers here may well be aware of his name, but very few are likely to be aware of his passing. Despite his remarkable achievement, only one small local outlet reported on Dr Jepson’s passing. and we found just one politician tweet about him. The politician in question was from an opposing party rather than Labour which Jepson had been a member of for goodness knows how many decades. To make matters worse, the sole report concerning Jepson’s life and death fails to mention or even hint at his extraordinary and historic David and Golliath victory. If we were to reverse the sexes here and imagine perhaps some self-taught woman taking a major political party to court over its sexist exclusion of her from contesting election, then her obituary would be on the front page of the BBC website and the Guardian newspaper. Had she failed to be elected during her lifetime she would have instead no doubt have been installed in the House of Lords or at least been given honours from the Queen.

Dr. Jepson’s various website are no longer working, but you can still read his take on the case via in this archive (we don’t agree with much of his analysis or proposals, but it’s still interesting to see his perspective). Sadly, although he was clearly well read and educated, it’s unfortunate that Dr. Jepson still didn’t appear to grasp the issue of misandry in other spheres such as the education system. For example, in an article about boys failing in the education system, he places the blame on the boys themselves, completely failing to realise that the very same misandrist feminist agenda that illegally  prevented him seeking election is endemic throughout the education system too.

Ultimately, Dr. Jepson’s politics and views are of little relevance here. His story and his victory is of incredible significance and it’s utterly inappropriate for his passing to have gone unnoticed. The case (and Jepson’s name) still gets mentioned in outlets such as The Spectator over 20 years after the victory and after Jepson’s passing, yet becasue he won equality for men, his life and his work is ignored becasue it goes against the desired narrative of the likes of the BBC and MSM.

It’s therefore left to us here at HEqual to document these important events and to remember Dr. Jepson. As per the local politician remembering him, it’s a sign of decency and maturity to take the time to remember someone you don’t necessarily agree with but whose life and achievements were clearly of huge importance and we sincerely thank and pay tribute to Dr. Jepson for his hard work in fighting for real equality against such blatant and inexcusable sexism completely corrupting our system of democracy.

If readers wish to learn more about this topic, a good summary of the history of discrimination against men in the British political system can be found on The Rights of Man website.

 

If you enjoy reading HEqual and the work we do please consider making a donation so we can continue promoting equality and tackling discrimination.

3 thoughts on “Remembering Dr Peter Jepson – the man who defeated Labour’s sexist all-women shortlists

  1. Thank you for this. An important reminder of the fact that quite often a lot of what is done is in fact unlawful or simply illegal. But that unless action is taken this is not made evident. The current legality of all female lists is meant to be reviewed and is a specific provision of the Equality Act making an exception in this one specific instance. There are cases of men successfully challenging discrimination against them in recruitment. These rarely get much publicity and so without the widespread gov. funded advisory organisations for women far too few men realise there is possible redress for them and demonstration of illegality on behalf of organisations. People presume public services will be “legal” but in fact their HR functions are probably less capable than private industry (there being no real come back on getting things wrong) and so are quite likely to be busy with discriminatory practices that are illegal. Non of this is easy but quite often it’s not “the law” that is discriminatory but its application, or lack of.

  2. Pingback: Remembering Dr Peter Jepson – the man who defeated Labour’s sexist all-women shortlists

  3. Excellent article and a timely reminder of how, if mere law stands in the way of their political agenda, certain parties in Parliament are perfectly willing to make the law subservient to their agenda.

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