Labour officials have defended their decision to draw up an all-female candidate list for a Birmingham by-election.
Members of the Erdington Labour branch were said to be outraged that a woman will succeed Mike Olley following his resignation as councillor for Tyburn, one of the safest Labour seats in the city.
The decision to impose a women-only shortlist, which was taken by the West Midlands Labour Party, has incensed local members as the four Erdington wards already have eight women councillors out of 12.
Concerns were also raised that Labour was afraid to impose women candidates on the Asian-dominated inner city branches as all of the party's candidates in last week's Aston and Bordesley Green by-elections were male.
However, a Labour Party spokeswoman said: " The Labour Party is committed to ensuring that women are equally represented at a local government and parliamentary level.
"The Labour Party has taken the decision to use an all-woman shortlist on this occasion to help bridge the current gender gap in the Birmingham Labour Group, should the Labour candidate be successful."