Call for public inquiry into transgender ideology in NHS and schools

A demonstrator holds up a placard calling saying 'We Demand Trans Futures' at an outdoor protest
The letter says harms have been done 'in the name of gender identity ideology' - Carl Court/Getty

A public inquiry must be set up to examine the “pervasive influence” of transgender ideology in schools and the NHS, the Prime Minister has been told.

The treatment of “confused and vulnerable” children by medical professionals has been a “major scandal”, according to a group of more than 130 MPs, peers, doctors, psychiatrists and academics.

Kemi Badenoch, the women and equalities minister, is understood to back the calls for a public inquiry.

“In the wake of the Cass review, she feels that people need to be held to account,” a source close to Mrs Badenoch said. “She is particularly appalled by the fact that a lot of NHS clinicians refused to share data and refused to co-operate.”

The calls for a public inquiry come after a report by Dr Hillary Cass, a leading paediatrician, which found that the evidence for allowing children and young people to change gender is built on “shaky foundations”.

The landmark review said that social transitioning should be approached with “extreme caution” because “we simply do not know the long-term impacts”.

Dr Cass revealed that her research was hampered by the fact that adult gender clinics refused to disclose whether transgender people who started their treatment as children later changed their minds about transitioning, or went on to suffer serious mental health problems.

Following its publication, Victoria Atkins, the Health Secretary, met Amanda Pritchard, the chief executive of NHS England, to tell her “nothing less than full co-operation by those clinics in the research is acceptable”.

Public inquiries can be given special powers to compel testimony and the release of other forms of evidence. This means that if such an inquiry was set up, adult gender clinics could be forced to hand over data on their patients

In the letter to Rishi Sunak, the group of signatories said they were “gravely concerned” about the physical and emotional harm caused to children “in the name of gender identity ideology”.

They noted that some schools “teach gender identity ideology to pupils as if it were fact, often to the exclusion or denial of biological reality” and that medical interventions on transgender children “have been revealed as a major medical scandal”.

Signatories include Liz Truss, the former prime minister; Dame Andrea Jenkyns, a former minister; Miriam Cates and Danny Kruger, the leaders of the New Conservatives group of MPs; and 14 other MPs and peers from across the political spectrum.

Tavistock deemed ‘not safe’

Another signatory is Marcus Evans, a consultant psychotherapist and former governor turned whistleblower of the Tavistock clinic, which was the country’s flagship NHS gender identity service for children until it was shut down after it was deemed “not safe” for youngsters.

Dozens of consultant psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, psychotherapists, GPs, lawyers and academics are also among the signatories.

The letter explains: “Encouraging confused and vulnerable children to transition, socially or medically, including with puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones, has caused irreversible developmental issues, physiological damage (such as loss of bone density, infertility and sexual dysfunction) and significant social and relational harms.

“This has already had a direct and lifelong impact on child development, the true extent of which is not yet known.

“We believe this is a major scandal that requires a public inquiry. This should consider the extent to which state and non-state institutions have failed in their duty of care by supporting, encouraging or facilitating a model of ‘gender-affirming transition’ towards children who believe they are transgender.”

Inquiry ‘should examine all institutions’

The letter, co-ordinated by social campaigner James Esses, goes on to suggest that a public inquiry should examine “all institutions complicit in this harm”, including government departments, the NHS, private gender clinics, mental health bodies, schools and transgender campaign groups.

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Mr Esses said: “Society is, slowly but surely, beginning to wake up to the horrors caused in the name of gender ideology.

“Children and young people have been left scarred, emotionally and physically, in the name of gender ideology. Some have been left infertile. Others have lost parts of their bodies that they can never get back.

“As a society, we have failed in our duty of care towards children. We must secure justice for those who have been harmed. Crucially, we must ensure that no child again suffers the same fate.”