British town council to have a vote on whether Father Christmas is a man

A row over the gender of Father Christmas has erupted in a town in northern England after a woman was chosen to play the festive figure.

It's a Christmas tradition in Newton Aycliffe that a member of the local community travels around town dressed as Father Christmas on December 24th.

Great Aycliffe Town Council will now have a vote on the matter after two women put their name forward for the role and one of them was granted permission to dress up as Father Christmas.

One Labour Councillor Arun Chandran, objected to the decision, saying: "There is no shortage of male volunteers to act as Santa Claus, so we should not permit a female volunteer to perform the role.

"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 cast majority of society without question and change just for the sake of that will only serve to attract negative publicity."