Labour urged to take ‘clear and decisive’ action as MP Rosie Duffield’s anti-trans activity ‘intensifies’

Vic Parsons
·3-min read

The Labour Party is being called on to take “clear and decisive action” about Rosie Duffield, who has now aligned herself with the co-founder of an anti-trans pressure group.

Duffield, MP for Canterbury since 2017, picked up her anti-trans Twitter activity last week with a slew of tweets and likes that contradict Labour’s stance supporting transgender rights.

This included liking a tweet from Tory MP Jackie Doyle-Price that directly undermines Labour’s shadow junior equalities minister Charlotte Nichols; supporting Ruth Serwotka, Woman’s Place UK co-founder, which was labelled a “trans-exclusionary hate group” by the Labour Campaign for Trans Rights; and liking a photo of a young child reading a book by anti-trans group Transgender Trend that has been compared to “terrorist propaganda” due to its anti-trans message.

LGBT+ Labour, a party-affiliated group that has campaigned for equality since 1975, said that Duffield’s anti-trans activity was “intensifying” and demanded Labour take action.

Rosie Duffield likes a tweet from Tory MP Jackie Doyle Price misgendering gender-fluid comedian Eddie Izzard.
Rosie Duffield likes a tweet from Tory MP Jackie Doyle Price misgendering gender-fluid comedian Eddie Izzard.

Alex Beverley, co-chair of LGBT+ Labour said: “Rosie Duffield’s negative conduct towards the trans community has intensified over the past few months.

“Efforts to engage in constructive dialogue with her have been fruitless and she has persisted despite the pleas of many, including two former staff members who resigned citing her comments.”

“My Body is Me” by Rachel Rooney and Transgender Trend has been called “terrorist propaganda” due to its anti-trans content.
“My Body is Me” by Rachel Rooney and Transgender Trend has been called “terrorist propaganda” due to its anti-trans content.

Two cisgender women, one a lesbian and the other an LGBT+ ally, have quit Duffield’s office in the past six months citing the MP’s “overtly transphobic” views.

After the second woman resigned, Duffield outed her on Twitter – leading to the trade union for MP’s staff condemning Duffield for “abusing her position” and calling for the Labour Party to immediately launch a formal investigation.

The GMB Members’ Staff union said Duffield’s actions had left the staffer “vulnerable to online abuse and fearful for her safety”.

Regarding Duffield’s more recent activity, Beverley added: “These recent examples are further unacceptable actions from a Labour MP.

“We expect the Labour Party to take clear and decisive action, demonstrating there is no tolerance for bigotry towards the LGBT+ community by Labour elected officials or members.”

Rosie Duffield did not refute that she supports Ruth Serwotka, co-founder of anti-trans lobby group Womans Place UK, when asked by PinkNews/
Rosie Duffield did not refute that she supports Ruth Serwotka, co-founder of anti-trans lobby group Womans Place UK, when asked by PinkNews/

In October, Labour activists called for Rosie Duffield to have the whip withdrawn after it emerged that the MP had liked a tweet from anti-trans campaigner Maya Forstater that branded the Law Society’s guidance on transition in professional settings as “celebrating cross dressers in the office”.

Labour’s deputy leader, Angela Rayner, then became the first senior Labour politician to publicly comment on the transphobia row, saying she thought Duffield should “reflect” on her comments. But instead the MP escalated tensions in an interview with The Times, condemning the criticism of her views on trans issues as “base, pure misogyny”.

Asked by PinkNews‘ whether she stands by her support for Doyle-Price and Serwotka, or her apparent endorsement of the anti-trans book My Body is Me as being appropriate reading material for young children, Duffield said: “You may have noticed that we are in the middle of a pretty serious pandemic and my constituency is currently suffering from a very high rate of infection.

“Our hospitals are under enormous pressure, Brexit has already started to impact East Kent and worried school staff are facing the return of pupils shortly.

“I’m sure you’ll understand that these issues are of slightly greater importance to me as an MP than your latest click bait non-story sourced solely from the weird world of Twitter.”