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Discrimination against Parliamentary Candidates

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The House of Lords has, today, ended the long-raging battle in Labour Party v Ahsan.

The Labour party did not select Mr Ahsan as its candidate for a parliamentary seat. He claimed this failure to select him was on grounds of race. Considering the jurisdictional position under the RRA 1976, the House of Lords held:-

  • political party, in selecting candidates, is not conferring an 'authorisation or qualification' enabling someone to be engaged in a profession - therefore s12 of the RRA 1976 does not apply; but,
  • the Labour party is an 'association' within s25 of the RRA 1976, and so a potential claim would exist against it in the county court.