As the Labour leadership race goes underway a labour candidate has asserted the significance of protecting the rights of trans men and women especially considering the increasing levels of discrimination against them.
On Sunday 23rd November, Lisa Nandy MP for Wigan said that she was given “pause for thought” about signing a pledge card from the Labour Campaign for Trans Rights. This pledge calls on candidates in the Labour leadership race to back the expulsion of party members who hold “bigoted, transphobic views”. In an interview on the Sky News, she said the call for those who support organisations such as Woman’s Place to be kicked out of the party had given her pause before signing the pledge.
“I have to say, that was the part of the pledge that gave me pause for thought about whether to sign it. I decided to sign it in the end because I think that the sentiment of the pledge about protecting trans rights and about accepting that trans men are men and trans women are women is really important, especially at the moment with the level of discrimination that people face.
“I don’t think that proscribing organisations is actually the right way to deal with disciplinary issues in the Labour party.
“I think that the question for us is always about individual behaviour and it’s right to recognise that there are women who have fought for generations in order to create safe spaces for women who want to have a proper debate about how we best protect that in an era where we’ve recognised that trans men are men, trans women are women, and we’ve got to do far more to protect trans women from harm as well. I want to see us have an open debate, I don’t want to see us close down debate and I don’t want anybody who’s listening to this to think that I do.”
This pledge also describes Woman’s Place UK, a group that backs biological sex to be acknowledged as part of maintaining women’s rights, as a “trans-exclusionist hate group”.
Meanwhile, Sir Keir Starmer, apparently the current favourite leadership candidate anticipated to replace Corbyn has extended his support to his opponents Nandy and Rebecca Long-Bailey. Starmer said Long-Bailey, and Nandy, championing the interests of non-metropolitan Labour, were both “excellent candidates, sincerely and genuinely putting forward very powerful cases that they think are right for our party, for our movement and for the country”.
Calling on Labour party members to unite, in a recent spin-off where he has now extended an olive branch to his opponents, he clarified,
“I would happily offer both these candidates a top job in the shadow cabinet and I’d happily serve them if they wanted me to do the same.”
Voting will close on 2 April, with the results expected to be announced at a special conference two days later.