A VETERAN equality campaigner has launched a fresh attack on the continuing exclusion of male runners from York’s Race for Life.

Pensioner John Taylor, of Norton, has been lobbying Cancer Research UK to allow men to take part in its popular Race For Life events across the country, including the one on Knavesmire, since his eldest daughter died from cancer in 2001.

The former postman, who has previously won a landmark European Court ruling which forced the Government to give winter fuel payments to men at the same age as women, spoke today of his sadness that his race campaign had not yet succeeded.

He said the Jane Tomlinson Fund, which organised the recent York 10K, should be commended because it had male and female contestants, and he was saddened the same did not apply to the Race for Life.

Mr Taylor, pictured, believed keeping Race for Life a female-only event was misguided, discriminated against all males and breached Article 14 of The Human Rights Act, which gave people the right not to be discriminated against in any form.

“Opening the 240 Race for Life events to males, young and old, throughout the UK….would give them an opportunity to raise funds in memory of their loved ones.”

But Natasha Dickinson, head of Race for Life at Cancer Research UK, defended the policy. She said: “Our research shows that our Race for Life supporters would strongly prefer to keep it a female-only event, as it is a unique opportunity for women to come together in a non-competitive active event within an atmosphere of sisterhood.”

She said it was the only women-only event organised by the charity, and had many male supporters who volunteered their time to help out on the day and sponsor women taking part.

“We also encourage men to come along to support the women who are taking part and are continuing to improve the facilities to make Race for Life events day enjoyable for men and also ensure it is a family-friendly event.”