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Labour suspends London by-election candidate who said 'trans women are not female' after transphobia complaint

Laura Pascal, centre, is standing in the Cazenove ward by-election in Hackney  (HackneyLabour )
Laura Pascal, centre, is standing in the Cazenove ward by-election in Hackney (HackneyLabour )

The Labour candidate in an upcoming London by-election has been suspended by the party following allegations of transphobia.

Members of Hackney Labour were told to cease campaigning for Laura Pascal over the weekend.

Ms Pascal is standing in the closely contested Cazenove ward by-election due take place on Thursday, January 18.

But she has now been administratively suspended by Labour and is under investigation following a number of complaints.

A party spokesman confirmed to the Standard that she will still be listed as the Labour candidate on the ballot paper, but will sit as an independent councillor if elected.

The accusations are believed to relate to comments Ms Pascal made on social media.

In July she posted on X, previously known as Twitter, that "trans women are not female. By definition they are male."A pinned post on her account also states: "My embodied reality as a member of the oppressed sex class is experienced in a world where biology has a significant impact.

"You can believe what you want but I believe that biological sex is a real thing and neither law or some kind of new scientific consensus [will] change that."

It is understood that another complaint relates to alleged racism after Ms Pascal appeared to "like" a post which suggested a trans woman wearing "womanface" was sexist and comparable to blackface makeup.

But one Labour source branded the suspension "ridiculous", adding "Laura is a feminist and certainly not a racist".

In a statement the Labour Women's Declaration said: "Laura supports the party’s official positions on the defence of single-sex spaces for women.

"As with many female candidates of all parties, there has been much online criticism of her, in her case for wearing a scarf with suffragette colours, and for speaking out in support of Labour’s positions for example, that sex and gender are different and that sex matters.

"We call on Labour’s Governance and Legal Unit, London Region and the National Executive Committee to instigate the swiftest possible hearing of this complaint, i.e. in the next 48 hours, so that Laura’s administrative suspension can be lifted and Hackney Labour can return to campaigning for a Labour victory.

"This is achievable and is the only honourable course of action."

Thursday's by-election is to find a replacement for Caroline Woodley, who was elected Hackney's new Mayor on November 9, leaving the seat vacant.

The mayoral vote was called after former Mayor Philip Glanville stood down when a picture emerged of him partying with paedophile former councillor Tom Dewey.

The Cazenove poll is expected to be closely fought between Labour, the Tories and the Liberal Democrats.