Lisa Nandy 'paused for thought' before signing trans rights pledge

23 February 2020, 19:31

Ms Nandy admitted her uncertainty about signing the pledge
Ms Nandy admitted her uncertainty about signing the pledge. Picture: Getty

By Matt Drake

Lisa Nandy said she had "pause for thought" over signing a trans rights pledge card which called for the expulsion from the Labour Party of those who hold "bigoted, transphobic views".

The pledge also described Woman's Place UK, a group that calls for biological sex to be acknowledged as part of maintaining women's rights, a "trans-exclusionist hate group".

Speaking on Sky's Sophy Ridge programme, Ms Nandy admitted her uncertainty about signing the pledge over the call to kick out those who support groups such as Woman's Place.

Ms Nandy said: "I have to say that was the part of the pledge that gave me pause for thought about whether to sign it.

"But I decided to sign it in the end because I think that the sentiment of the pledge about protecting trans rights and about accepting that trans men are men and trans women are women is really important, especially at the moment with the level of discrimination that people face.

"I don't think that proscribing organisations is actually the right way to deal with disciplinary issues in the Labour Party. I think that the question for us is always about individual behaviour."

Keir Starmer has called on the Labour Party to unite
Keir Starmer has called on the Labour Party to unite. Picture: Getty

Woman's Place UK has denied the accusations that it is a "hate group", claiming that some trans people support the organisation.

When Ms Nandy was asked whether she would be happy for people identifying as women standing on all-women shortlists, she said: “Yeah, I think that you have to walk the walk in the Labour party and that means that we have to do two things – one is that we have to accept that people are who they say they are. I’ve never believed that politicians or even me as an individual should interfere or dictate to people who they are.”

Meanwhile, Sir Keir Starmer told the Observer that the Labour Party must unite.

He added: "My message to our members is essentially that they’ve got a choice: we as a party can mope around, head in hands, arguing with each other, pointing fingers about who’s to blame for this, that and the other.

“Or we could decide the next four years of our history is for us – we can pull together and shape what happens next.”