Labour Leader Says It's 'Not Right' to Say Only Women Have a Cervix
11:54 GMT 26.09.2021 (Updated: 12:35 GMT 26.09.2021)
© REUTERS / JEFF OVERS/BBCAndrew Marr Show in London
© REUTERS / JEFF OVERS/BBC
Labour has supported changing the law to allow transgender people access to women-only spaces on the basis of "self-identification" only. Canterbury MP Rosie Duffield's opposition to that policy has prompted death threats against her by angry LGBT activists.
The UK's opposition leader has claimed it was "not right" for one of his party's women MPs to say only a woman can have a cervix.
Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer flew in the face of millennia of medical science in an interview with the BBC's Andrew Marr on Sunday morning, the second day of his party's annual conference in Brighton.
Marr pressed the leader on Canterbury MP Rosie Duffield's decision not to attend the seaside gathering after receiving death threats from transgender rights activists over her insistence that the biological definition of a woman cannot include a man who identifies as such.
Duffield has angered LGBT and trans campaigners by refusing to accept "self-ID as a passport for male-bodied biological men to enter protected spaces for biological women".
Labour has supported changing the law to allow individuals to enjoy the rights of the current Gender Recognition Certificate on the basis of "self-identification". Currently transsexuals must be diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria and spend two years living as a member of the opposite sex before being allowed to use women-only facilities.
Meanwhile, the party dropped an investigation into Young Labour chair Jess Barnard over tweets she posted last year referring to women opposed to self-ID by the pejorative "TERFs" — Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists.
3 September, 08:53 GMT
Former Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May backed the same policy, but her successor Boris Johnson has dropped the amendments which have proven controversial with women's organisations.
Former Brexit Party MEP Baroness Claire Fox called Starmer's squirming on the issue "excruciating".
The Labour leader's vacillation came just days after the medical journal "The Lancet" caused outrage with a front-cover quote referring to women as "bodies with vaginas" in a clumsy attempt at political correctness.
The American Civil Liberties Union also drew fire for publishing an edited quote by late US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in support of abortion rights — with the words "woman" and "she" replaced with "person" and "they" throughout.