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Keir Starmer says 'vast majority' of women 'don't have a penis' and need safe spaces
6 June 2022, 11:09
Sir Keir Starmer has said the "vast majority" of women "of course don't have a penis" and should be provided with "safe spaces".
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However, he added there are a "small minority of individuals" who are born with "a gender they don't now identify with", and they should be treated with "respect".
The Labour leader made the comments during the 'Call Keir' segment of Nick Ferrari's LBC show.
He commented: "Let me be clear - for the vast majority of women this is all about biology and of course they don't have a penis.
"We all know that and of course they need safe spaces and we'll support that, I've been supporting that for many years and of course we want more equality for women.
"For the vast majority of women biology is what matters and it's very clear they don't have a penis.
"But there is a small minority of individuals who are born in a gender they don't now identify with.
"Some go through a process, others don't, and that is very traumatic for them and I, for one, respect and support them.
"[For] 99.99% of women it's all biology, we must support their safe spaces, but let's not disparage or fail to support the small group of people who struggle with their gender identity and I think we can resolve this if we all approach it in that spirit."
There is a fiery ongoing debate over whether trans women, who were born male but identify as female, should have access to women's "safe spaces" such as toilets, changing rooms and rape crisis centres.
In March Sir Keir refused to tell Nick whether he thought a woman could have a penis, sparking mockery on social media.
The Labour leader said: "I just don’t think that discussing this issue in this way helps anyone in the long run.
Starmer: 'Of course' a biological woman doesn't have a penis
"What I want to see is a reform of the law as it is but I'm also an advocate of safe spaces for women."
Senior Labour figures have made contradictory statements in recent weeks over the contentious trans rights debate.
In April Shadow Attorney General Emily Thornberry told LBC some women "will have penises".
This view was backed by Stella Creasy MP, who commented: "Do I think women were born with penises? Yes."
However Anneliese Dodds, Labour Party chair and Shadow Minister for Women, took a different view.
Asked whether she agreed with Ms Creasy, by Sky News, she replied: "Well, no, I don’t agree with her.
"Biological females obviously aren’t, of course there are also trans-women who have made the transition in their gender but sex is not the same as gender."
Canterbury MP Rosie Duffield has been both criticised and heralded for her views on trans rights.
Ms Duffield came under fire for her opposition to "male-bodied biological men" being allowed to self-identify as female in order to access women-only spaces such as prisons and domestic violence refuges.
She opted not to attend the Labour Party conference in September after receiving threats and being branded transphobic, which she denies.
Sir Keir later said the Kent MP had been wrong to say "only women have a cervix".