'So which lavatory would they actually use?': Nick Ferrari presses shadow minister on trans women and public toilets

27 June 2024, 11:36

Nick Ferrari pressed Shadow Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson regarding trans women and bathrooms.
Nick Ferrari pressed Shadow Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson regarding trans women and bathrooms. Picture: LBC/Getty

By Katy Ronkin

Shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson refused to say if a "trans woman with a penis" should be able to use the lady's toilets when pressed multiple times by Nick Ferrari.

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The Shadow Education Secretary was asked by LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast to clarify her stance regarding whether trans women should be able to use women's bathrooms.

Phillipson initially emphasized the importance of single-sex spaces, stating, "I believe that single sex spaces are important... My background before I became a politician was managing a women's refuge.

"So I understand how important it is that women have access to single sex spaces, have that safety, that dignity, that opportunity to speak openly about traumatic events in their lives."

Watch Again: Nick Ferrari speaks to Bridget Phillipson | 27/06

However, when Ferrari presented a specific scenario about a trans woman needing to use a public toilets, Phillipson's responses became less direct.

Ferrari asked: "The trans woman with a penis would use which lavatory?"

Phillipson repeatedly suggested that businesses should provide "a range of different options," even when Ferrari specified that the hypothetical restaurant only had two options – male and female toilets.

As Ferrari pressed for a specific answer, asking multiple times which door the trans woman should use, Phillipson continued to emphasize the need for "common sense solutions" and "being practical."

Read more: Sunak wades into trans row between Kemi Badenoch and David Tennant after Dr Who star told minister to 'shut up'

Read more: JK Rowling 'struggling to support' Labour over Sir Keir's stance on transgender rights that's 'abandoning' women

Ms Phillipson avoided answering regarding which bathroom a trans woman should use.
Ms Phillipson avoided answering regarding which bathroom a trans woman should use. Picture: Getty

She stated, "I wouldn't want that person to feel at risk equally. I wouldn't want biological women to feel intimidated."

Ferrari pointed out an apparent contradiction, saying, "But you seem to have checked earlier this week you said she should use the female toilet, didn't you?"

Phillipson didn't directly address this, instead saying, "Look, these are, these, I want to make sure that everyone, where it comes to this discussion, that we do, we have this discussion in a way that is respectful and seeks to find common ground."

Political journalist calls out Kemi Badenoch over 'inflammatory comments'

This comes as JK Rowling has said she will "struggle to support" Labour if Sir Keir Starmer doesn’t change his current stance on the rights of transgender people.

Writing in The Times, the Harry Potter author, who has often been outspoken in her views on gender recognition, expressed her dissatisfaction with the Labour party’s approach to the matter.

Rowling criticised Sir Keir along with several members of his shadow cabinet for ​“abandoning” women and being “dismissive and often offensive” approach to their concerns.

Labour said it was "the party of women’s equality, with a manifesto that puts women front and centre".

K Rowling has said she will "struggle to support" Labour if Sir Keir Starmer doesn’t change his current stance on the rights of transgender people
JK Rowling has said she will "struggle to support" Labour if Sir Keir Starmer doesn’t change his current stance on the rights of transgender people. Picture: Alamy

Asked if she is concerned about losing trust over a "muddled stance," Phillipson responded, "I have a huge amount of respect for JK Rowling, not least in the work that she's done around campaigning for women, you know, around domestic violence, around rape crisis services and making sure that all women in our communities feel safe."

She added, "We will work every day to persuade voters who are not voting Labour that we can earn their trust once more."

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