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One word. Appalling.

Why should this obscure, irrelevant 'retirement home for Heathites', the National European Forum, have any say over party policy on Europe at all ? Is there no-one in the Shadow Cabinet with the guts to put an end to all this nonsense and tell the leadership fairly and squarely that the membership will never put up with this ? In the event of an all-woman shortlist, could Baroness Thatcher be persuaded to stand for the first available vacancy ?

This entire proposal is a disgraceful affront to both democracy and the membership of the Conservative party. Should the Board be so foolish as to agree any part of it I, as a member of the National Convention, will most certainly remember that next year when it is time to re-elect our representatives to the Board. That is of course if I choose to still remain a member of the party at all after this.

Hmm... surely this has just been leaked to allow it to be "compromised" away?

Having said that I'd rather the members were able to vote but have some places reserved for women (which makes much more sense in a list system than a constituency one).

You failed to accord due deference to DOCTOR Caroline Jackson. She may be female but she isn't a Conservative. Quite why anyone in the party is trying to keep this odious excuse for an MEP's snout in the trough is baffling.

The party has a chance to get MEPs who reflect the majority opinion (within the party and the country) about Europe - sceptical but in. Why don't they trust the membership?

Remember what happened to Labour when they tried all-women shortlists?

I shall vote for the UKIP candidates if this goes ahead!

This Caroline Jackson is the lady married to a chap who defected to another party?

The same lady who openly opposed the withdrawal from the EPP?

All this will do is push Conservative activists into the arms of UKIP. The people doing this are brainless.

First they expect us to support Dyke and now this!

Caroline Jackson is standing down due to ill health. I can live with these proposals.

I'm confused; is someone suggesting we'll end up with All-Dyke lists? Golly.

The Conservative Party website says - on the Join Us page (https://www.conservatives.com/tile.do?def=involved.join.page):

"You can play your part by joining the Conservative Party. The Conservatives are already the largest party in local Government, and Conservative Future is Britain’s largest and fastest–growing student body. David Cameron’s Conservative Party will be a voice for change, optimism and hope. It will be a party that represents everyone in Britain: wherever they live, whatever their race, religion, gender, sexuality or salary. We are a Party eager to rebuild and strengthen our society for the benefit of all.

- Help David Cameron drive forward the Conservative Party’s agenda for change
- Get involved in developing the ideas that will make Britain a better place to live
- Select local candidates for Council, Assembly Parliamentary and European Elections
- Join the largest party in local government
- Attend Party Conference, events and receive regular e-newsletters"

Could it not be argued that by luring people to join the Party in exchange for these promises - and, in particular, the promise to allow members to select candidates for the European elections - and now to be reneging on those contractually binding promises, the Party has obtained a pecuniary advantage by deception, committed fraud and/or breached its contract with tens of thousands of party members?

This is a disgusting stitch-up. I remember at the time the new constitution was discussed in 1998 that the self-serving National Union clique wanted to keep control for themselves. They were defeated then by Archie Norman and William Hague but, almost a decade on, they are going to succeed.

I, for one, am not going to vote Conservative in the European Elections, no matter how good my local MEP candidates might be, if this is the approach the Party is adopting towards my rights as a member.

How long will the Conservative Party stand the strain of a pseudo Lib-Dem leadership?

I'd remind everyone that we used to have two female MEP's....Theresa Villiers jumped ship to the Commons....the party is entirely capable of selecting the right candidates on it's own who are also "diverse", ie, Syed Kamell (sorry bout the spelling, I think it's wrong)

Who in their right mind would vote Conservative in Euro-Elections ?

It is a simple choice between Abstention and finding some group that all the Bureaucratic Parties fear and loathe.

The EU will never be controlled through the ballot box - it is designed to ignore that - it is simply a chance to rebel against the Leviathan

UKIP's 9-country strong Independence Demcracy Euro grouping is the only trusted eurosceptic voice in the European parliament.

A euro Tory vote is a wasted vote.

UKIP's 9-country strong Independence Democracy Euro grouping is the only trusted eurosceptic voice in the European parliament.

A euro Tory vote is a wasted vote.

Fair enough comment, but "grass roots' freedoms"? Bit OTT no?

I'm sorry to say it, but you only have yourselves to blame. Three activist places were up for grabs on your Party Board recently and only four activists applied. If the Tory grassroots isn't prepared to square up to its wayward party leadership then the grassroots can't complain when things don't go its way.

A foul proposal.

Sexual discrimination of the first order.
I smell litigation and lawyers no doubt smell money and fun.
If women want to stand let em, but do not impose a quota system on the electorate, where'e the sense in that, it also undermines the democratic process and results in lower turnouts.

This is a terrible and undemocratic idea! Candidates should be selected on merit not gender or anything else.

This is another reason why it is vital that as many Party members as possible register their support for the www.mepwatch.co.uk campaign to retain the members right to rank and select all candidates for the 2009 European Election.

I was considering regsitering my interest in the European candidates' list - clearly no point now. This sort of news will make all-women shortlists a self fulfilling prophecy.

Your deflatedly,

Conservative Eurosceptic Male (Wrong on all criteria)

Re: George Hinton's point above. Political Parties are exempt from gender discrimination legislation.

I am in no way a UKIPer but if this goes ahead I'm voting UKIP all the way to the GE.

"it is simply a chance to rebel against the Leviathan".
Eh? Thats a new one.

I suspect that our leaders (like I) don’t trust selection committees. But instead of concentrating on improving the diversity of the committees (which would be my approach), they’re giving committees a Hobson’s choice to force the outcome.

The electoral calculus is probably that we lose some votes by winding-up activists and prospective candidates, but we win more by becoming more representative. If that’s the case, it’s a daft conclusion because it is possible to do A) without B).

Well if party's are exempt from sex discrimination, and MP's now want to exempt themselves from FOI what is the point of our system, other than a milch cow for a small elite.
I'm off to UKIP for the FairyLandElections, I will not be imposed upon.
Viva la Revolucion, put the politicoes up aganist a Roumanian wall, and lets start again with power vested back in the people.

I have had little faith in the Board since I joined the party. Reform under Cameroon leadership is bad reform because its always politically motivated. Positive discrimination is outlawed in every employment apart from politics. Its time to get rid of that exemption. Why should sex make any difference to the quality of candidate? We want the best dont we?

I had to check the date stamp on this. Not the first of the month I see.
I am sorry but this just has to be a wind up. Dr Jackson is an intelligent, decent, hardworking (when not playing golf) MEP. OK she is seriously Europhile but I thought that was acceptable in the broad church Conservative Party.
However she also has a wicked sense of humour. Maybe this is a wind up after all.

Elaib - Dr Jackson is a socialist, lazy and outstandingly smug. She may or may not be pleasant personally and we all know how clever she is because she parades her doctorate at every opportunity, but a good CONSERVATIVE MEP she most definitely is not.

Sir John Nott was on GMTV this am and he said he thought that the activists would sit on their hands rather than vote for Cameron. He said he had been left behind and thought Cameron's obsession with global warming, vote blue go green etc was turning off a lot of supporters.

Interestingly, the lib/dem that was interviewed said she bumped into an old Tory Councillor and asked him what he was up to, he said he had left the Conservative Party because it was no longer Tory.

The Greg Dyke incident is making the CP a laughing stock.

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