Lisa Nandy reignites Labour trans rights row as leadership contender says male child rapists who transition to become women should be allowed to serve their sentences in female-only prisons if they ‘choose’ to
- MP became latest Labour leadership contender to becoming embroiled in row
- Said trans offenders ‘should be accommodated in a prison of their choosing’
- Gave answer to question which raised case of a child rapist who transitioned
Lisa Nandy reignited Labour’s trans rights row today after saying violent male offenders including child rapists should have the right to serve their sentence in female-only prisons if they transition.
The Wigan MP became the latest Labour leadership contender to become embroiled in a row that has cause a bitter women’s rights schism within the party.
At a campaign rally she was asked her views on whether violent male sexual offenders who transition should be allowed to serve their sentence in a jail assigned to prisoners of their new gender.
Critics of the idea suggest it could put female inmates potentially at harm by forcing them to live alongside violent sex offenders who may still be biologically male.
But Ms Nandy, 40, was applauded as she told the audience: ‘I believe fundamentally in people’s right to self-ID.
‘I believe the Gender Recognition Act strikes the wrong balance in relation to that.
‘I think that crimes that are recorded should be recorded as that person wishes, having gone through that process, received support and self-identified.
‘I think trans women are women, I think trans men are men, so I think they should be accommodated in a prison of their choosing.’
The Wigan MP became the latest Labour leadership contender to becoming embroiled in a row threatening to cause a bitter schism within the party
Last week Rebecca Long-Bailey backed a campaign which labelled a women’s rights organisation a ‘trans-exclusionist hate group’
The question was asked by a critic who specifically asked about the case of a man jailed for five counts of child rape, who later transitioned to become a woman.
Yesterday Labour was served with court papers over its policy of allowing anyone who says they are female to stand as a candidate on an all-women shortlist.
Campaigners raised more than £30,000 to pay for the case.
Labour’s policy allows ‘self-identifying’ transgender women – those who have not legally changed from male to female – to put themselves forward for all-women shortlists.
Opponents say the policy is unfair as it means candidates just have to tick a box to say they are female, and so could lead to a man being chosen to run for a parliamentary seat ahead of a woman.
In a statement on the Keep All-Women Shortlists Female campaign website, barrister Amanda Jones wrote: ‘We are seeking to challenge the Labour Party’s policy that anybody who identifies as a woman (even to the extent merely of ticking a box to say that they identify as such) can stand as a candidate on an all-women shortlist.’
But a Labour spokesman defended the policy, saying : ‘Labour’s all-women shortlists have always been open to trans women so the petition is not factually accurate and the claim has no merit.’
Last week Rebecca Long-Bailey backed a campaign which labelled a women’s rights organisation a ‘trans-exclusionist hate group’.
The Labour Campaign for Trans Rights published a 12-point plan which it said is designed to ‘rid the Labour Party of transphobia and to stand up for trans people’.
Ms Long-Bailey tweeted: ‘Please sign to show your support for the trans and non-binary community, for whom the Labour Party should always be a safe space.’
The campaign states that there is ‘no material conflict between trans rights and women’s rights’ and calls for the ‘expulsion from the Labour Party of those who express bigoted, transphobic views’.
However, one of the campaign’s pledges calls for Labour to ‘organise and fight against transphobic organisations such as Woman’s Place UK, LGB Alliance and other trans-exclusionist hate groups’.
Woman’s Place UK, a group which was established to ‘ensure that women’s voices are heard and our sex based rights upheld’, rejected the accusation which it said it believes is ‘defamatory’.