Councillor wants to ban female Santa Claus, claiming it’s ‘a male role’

Santa Claus, who is the focus of a debate in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, after local resident asked if he could be played by a woman

A Labour councillor from a town in County Durham is trying to ban female Santa Claus impersonators from taking part in the annual parade.

Councillor Arun Chandran has said he will put forward a motion stopping women from performing as a female Santa Claus at Newton Aycliffe’s winter parade, which he described as “a form of political correctness,” reports The Times.

It comes after a sub-committee at Great Aycliffe Town Council recently voted unanimously to allow female volunteers to perform as Santa Claus, following a request from two women.

Santa Claus has toured Great Aycliffe’s streets, giving out sweets to children, every Christmas Eve since the 1960s.

Councillor says Santa Claus must be a man

Chandran is set to put forward his proposal to ban female Santa Claus impersonators at the annual parade during a recreation committee meeting on Thursday night (November 29), reports The Northern Echo.

“Santa Claus being a man is a long-held tradition accepted by the vast majority of society.”

— Councillor Arun Chandran

“If the council was unable to have enough male volunteers to act as Santa Claus, I would have no objection to women volunteers undertaking the role, rather than deny the presence of a Santa on a given tour, though I would have to be convinced that the council had given plenty of notice and sought publicly for male volunteers and not left thing to the last minute,” Chandran said at a meeting, reports the local news outlet.

He added that his motion would state that “if there is no shortage of male volunteers to act as Santa Claus, we do not permit a female volunteer to perform the role.”

Chandran continued: “My understanding is that Santa Claus, otherwise called Father Christmas, is a male role. I have no issue with a Mrs Claus. But Santa Claus being a man is a long-held tradition accepted by the vast majority of society,” reports The Times. 

Newton Aycliffe, where a councillor is attempting to ban women from performing as Santa Claus

Newton Aycliffe town centre, where Santa Claus tours every year. (Geograph)

The councillor added: “I believe that children in particular will be expecting a male Santa, and that it may well reflect badly on the Council if we were to deliberately introduce a form of political correctness just because a Labour Party member turns up at a Events Sub Committee meeting to demand women’s rights to be Santa Claus,” reports Metro.

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