'Surreal position' – Labour MP Dawn Butler criticised for comment that 'a child is born without sex'

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 16: Dawn Butler speaks at a hustings event for Labour Deputy Leader, hosted by the Co-operative Party, at the Business Design Centre on February 16, 2020 in London, England. Richard Burgon, Dawn Butler, Ian Murray, Dr Rosena Allin-Khan and Angela Rayner are vying to become Labours deputy leader following the departure of Tom Watson, who stood down in December last year. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)
Labour MP Dawn Butler was criticised for her comments on the sex of newborns (Getty Images)

Labour MP Dawn Butler has been criticised after she said ‘a child is born without sex’ during a television interview.

The MP for Brent Central and deputy leader candidate made the controversial comment while appearing on ITV’s Good Morning Britain on Monday.

The shadow secretary of state for women and equalities made her remarks during a heated discussion on transgender children with presenter Richard Madeley.

He said: “When a child is born they are identified and observed in a particular way."

Butler replied: "A child is born without sex at the beginning but anyway."

Labour MP said 'a child is born without sex' during an interview on Good Morning Britain (Picture: ITV)
Labour MP said 'a child is born without sex' during an interview on Good Morning Britain (Picture: ITV)

Madeley asked her: “Do you think somebody that embraces transgender but nevertheless decides that there is a biological difference based on chromosomes based on a penis that may not have been removed after surgery, are you saying that person is transphobic?"

Butler replied "If you’re saying that a trans woman isn’t a woman then there are issues around that.

Read more: BBC apologises after confusing Dawn Butler with fellow black MP

"Taking about penises and vaginas doesn’t help the conversation because what you’re saying then is a trans woman isn’t a woman by your own definition."

She said the Labour Party “should and must be a safe space”.

Butler’s comments were criticised by women’s charities, politicians and media personalities.

Madeley’s fellow Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan simply tweeted: “Insane”.

Karen Ingala Smith, chief executive of Nia, a charity supporting women who have suffered sexual and domestic violence, tweeted: “Oh my.

“Latest in the ‘really obviously not true but pushing trans ideology is above truth’ is ‘a child is born without a sex,’ courtesy of Dawn Butler.

“Labour, just how unelectable do you want to be?

“Babies are born with a sex. A baby’s sex is determined in the womb.”

Journalist Janice Turner, a trustee of the Centre for Women’s Justice, tweeted: "Dawn Butler, a Labour shadow minister: 'a child is born without a sex'.

“This is flat earthery. Where are the male rationalists and scientists exposing this insanity?"

Conservative MP Nadine Dorries wrote: “Dawn Butler says a child is born without sex. This is groundbreaking.

“In future I guess the midwife will announce, ‘congratulations, it’s a baby.’

“The boundaries of my mind will not stretch far enough to take in the Labour Party’s surreal position on so many issues these days.”