Welsh Tory comes out as first trans MP after revealing rape and £50,000 blackmail plot

30 March 2022, 08:41 | Updated: 30 March 2022, 16:27

MP Jamie Wallis said in a public statement that he had been diagnosed with gender dysphoria
MP Jamie Wallis said in a public statement that he had been diagnosed with gender dysphoria. Picture: UK Parliament

By Megan Hinton

A Welsh Tory has become the first British MP to come out as transgender after revealing he was blackmailed for £50,000.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

MP Jamie Wallis said in a public statement that he had been diagnosed with gender dysphoria and wants to be a trans woman.

In a statement, released in the early hours of Tuesday morning, Dr Wallis said "there’s a lot that goes on in MPs lives and the Whips play an important wellbeing role" in supporting MPs who are having a tough time.

Adding: "Well they’ve certainly earned their keep with me

"I’m trans. Or to be more accurate, I want to be. I’ve been diagnosed with gender dysphoria and I’ve felt this way since I was a very young child.

"I had no intention of ever sharing this with you. I always imagined I would leave politics well before I ever said this out loud."

Dr Wallis has not yet shared a name change or indicated his preferred pronouns.

He continued: "There was a close call in April 2020 when someone Blackmailed me, outed me to my father and sent photographs to other family members.

"He wanted £50,000 to keep quiet. The police were so supportive, so understanding and on this occasion the system worked. He pled guilty and was sentenced to 2 years and 9 months in prison."

Read more: Starmer grapples with Labour's stance on trans rights and speaks out over 'intolerance'

Read more: Men asked by some hospital trusts if they are pregnant before having scans

He went on to explain that after the imprisonment of his blackmailer, he believed he would be able to "move on" but said hiding "something like this was always going to be tough".

In his emotional statement, he also revealed that during his struggle to come to terms with his gender dysphoria, he suffered a sexual assault.

Writing: "A few months back, in September, I 'hooked up' with someone who I met online and when I chose to say 'no' on the basis that he wouldn’t wear a condom he chose to rape me.

"I have not been myself since this incident and I don’t think I will ever recover."

Since the incident the MP has suffered with PTSD which he attributes to his arrest for suspicion of driving while unfit following collision with lamppost.

He ended his statement by saying: "Tonight, I was reminded of the incredible support those you work with can provide. Also, I was reminded how important it is to be yourself. I have never lived my truth and I’m not sure how. Perhaps it starts with telling everyone."

Read more: Statue of abolitionist David Livingstone may be removed due to 'links to slavery'

Read more: Russia's promise to wind down assaults on Kyiv could be 'deception', US warns

His statement has been met with support from follow politicians who have praised his "bravery" and "courage".

Boris Johnson took to Twitter to say: "Sharing this very intimate story would have taken an immense amount of courage. Thank you Jamie Wallis for your bravery, which will undoubtedly support others.

"The Conservative Party I lead will always give you, and everyone else, the love and support you need to be yourself."

His praise comes hours after he opened his speech to Tory MPs' with this joke: "Good evening ladies and gentleman, or as Keir Starmer would put it, people who are assigned female or male at birth."

The PM's comments come after Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer was quizzed by LBC's Nick Ferrari on whether or not a woman can have a penis.

To which he replied: "I'm not... I don't think we can conduct this debate with...

"I don't think that discussing this issue in this way helps anyone in the long run.

"What I want to see is a reform of the law as it is, but I am also an advocate of safe spaces for women and I want to have a discussion that is... anybody who genuinely wants to find a way through this, I want to discuss that with, and I do find that too many people - in my view - retreat or hold a position of which is intolerant of others.

"And that's not picking on any individual at all, but I don't like intolerance, I like open discussion."

Tory MP Michael Fabricant also posted messages of support for Dr Wallis, saying: "My colleague, Jamie Wallis, has made a very brave statement this morning.

"We are all very proud of Jamie and we are all here for them.

"The Parliamentary Party is fully behind you. You are very brave and we are proud to have you as part of our team."

Chairman of the Conservative party added: "Proud of my colleague Jamie Wallis. As a Conservative family we stand together, and we will support you. I hope that your brave statement will help others."

Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting said: "Sending you love and solidarity from the other side of the Commons. This is hugely courageous of you to share."

Read more: Russia's promise to wind down assaults on Kyiv could be 'deception', US warns

Read more: Gordon Brown accuses Sunak of not 'caring' about people struggling with living costs

Whilst SNP MP David Linden added: "What an incredibly powerful and brave post. Sending love, support and solidarity from the opposite side of the chamber."

MP Peter Gibson wrote: "Well done to you on your bravery and honesty. Sharing this personal news is a big step for you. It will also be of help to many others, those who face the same struggles and those might improve their understanding of such struggles."

Alicia Kearns said: "You have changed this country today Your bravery will give hope and courage to people across our country.

"From the trans community, to survivors we all here for you, as you live your life as your true self, but ever as our friend."