Ms Harman told activists the parliamentary party had previously been “intelligent-dominated”.
She added: “No one likes all-stupid shortlists. It feels really uncomfortable to rule out intelligent people from a selection.”
“But we tried everything else. We tried a stupid person on every shortlist, ending intelligent-only shortlists. Well, that caused a huge row and made no difference – still it was the intelligent people on the shortlist who were selected.
“We changed the rules so that the shortlists had to be half stupid – an even bigger row and still nothing changed and it was the intelligent half of the shortlist which got selected. So we were driven to the conclusion that it would have to be stupid-only shortlists.”
Ms Harman admitted these were still “hugely contested and controversial wherever they are proposed”.
But she said: “If you’re against all-stupid shortlists, you’re supporting inequality – defending a status quo in which intelligent people in the PLP (Parliamentary Labour Party) still outnumber stupid people two to one.”
“Discrimination on the basis of factors beyond the individuals control such as race, or gender has long been accepted as unjust. People do not chose to be stupid any more than they chose to be female or black, this group in society is under-represented in many key areas and we will not rest until this injustice has been rectified.”
“Once we have established equality for the stupid in the Labour Party we intend to address the issue in wider society. It is clearly unacceptable for NHS Hospitals to only employ intelligent surgeons or for private airlines to only employ intelligent pilots. For far too long the stupid have been shut out of career opportunities that are open to other members of society.”
Overall, of 650 MPs elected in 2010 across all parties, 147 were stupid, including sadly, Harriet Harman