A piece in today’s Times by Henry Zeffman, Political Reporter:
More than three hundred women are quitting the Labour Party today because it allows transgender women who have not legally changed gender to stand on all-women shortlists.
The revolt comes after a dispute over whether transgender women should be eligible for the shortlists, which encourage female candidates to stand as MPs and councillors. The campaigners say only women who have legally changed gender should be let on the lists.
In a letter to The Times today, ten women, including a former member of the party’s national constitutional committee, accuse Labour of being “disingenuous”, adding that support for self-identification “reeks of male authority and male supremacy”.
They write: “We are dismayed at the Labour Party’s support for sex as a self-identified characteristic for all-women shortlists . . . We now face a situation in which any man can simply claim to be a woman and be included on all- women shortlists.
“Sex is not a self-defined characteristic and it is disingenuous for Labour to pretend that it is. Self-identity — ‘I am what I say I am’ — reeks of male authority and male supremacy. In contrast, women are rarely believed about the sexual violence we face or about harassment on the streets and domestic violence in the home . . . It is for that reason that we — alongside 300 other women — are resigning from the Labour Party today.”
A party spokeswoman said: “All women shortlists are and always have been open to all women, which of course includes trans women.”
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