That's hardly a surprise - the constituency executive voted in favour of it some weeks back and the NEC has now confirmed their view. The decision, by the way, doesn't rest with the local party, nor yet the regional organisation, but with the national executive. The local party were asked for their views on whether they should have an all-woman shortlist and agreed - actually, the party rules pretty much required it anyway, as Ladywood should be a safe seat and was previously occupied by a woman Labour MP. They also said that they felt that a BME (black or minority ethnic) candidate would suit the seat, but that was a view and not a formal request. It is a view to which they are entitled, but one that carries no force.
The final decision over who will stand for Labour in the next election rests with the local membership, not the executive committee.
John Hemming can't resist giving his considered legal opinion
To define the candidate you want by their ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation is not only illegal...
Predictably, John is partially wrong in fact. It is entirely legal to define a candidate by gender, but not by ethnicity or sexual orientation.
Anyway, why is Khalid Mahmood interfering in a neighbouring constituency - rather as he did in Sparkbrook during Roger Godsiff's reselection campaign? The Stirrer is wrong on one count - this has nothing to do with Elaina Cohen - the former Tory parliamentary candidate turned Labour stalwart. She was actually militating against an all-woman shortlist in the first place - a lone voice against it - and is quite unlikely to win the nomination in any case. Penny Barber is also a long shot, as her otherwise admirable day job for the Brook Advisory Clinics would not go down well with the significant black Christian vote in the constituency.
Rumours suggest that the Mahmood faction has actually been pushing the candidacy of Ansar Ali Khan, the Labour councillor from Washwood Heath, which would explain his opposition to an all-woman shortlist.
My feeling is that the candidate who will win the nomination hasn't yet appeared on the local political journalists' radar.