Last week multiple senior members of Britain’s Labour party endorsed a “trans equality manifesto” that supports more inclusive party values and claimed that anyone with transphobic views should be thrown out of the party. Backlash from this controversial charter comes with a call to produce evidence for transphobia allegations.
The two women in the center of the debate are Lisa Nandy and Rebecca Long Bailey. Other leaders expressed support for the charter which labels Women’s Place UK as a “trans-exclusionist hate group.” Lisa Nandy tweeted her support stating that the Labour Party “should always be an open and safe space for all.” Controversy stems from Labour’s Gender Recognition Act, a policy that allows ‘self-identifying’ trans-women to participate on women shortlists. Critics say that without restrictions it will allow for abuse of the system allowing men to be ahead of women running for parliamentary seats just by checking a box.
Lachlan Stuart, who has already faced past transphobic allegations, fired back stating that Long Bailey was not fit to lead because of her views on trans rights. He also insisted evidence needs to be provided and that none has been produced. In his statement, he called the opposing women leaders “virtue signaling ill-informed cowards.” Women’s Place UK responded in a letter to Lisa Nandy, stating, “I hope you understand that expulsions of women from the party on the grounds you are suggesting (and being cavalier about evidence) will provoke a huge backlash. It will be fiercely opposed by all fair-minded members, who insist on reason and evidence.”
The tension creates more division amongst Labour party members and unified ambitions.
Sources: The Daily Mail 2/15/20; The Guardian 2/17/20