The trade union for MP staff has condemned the behaviour of Rosie Duffield towards an ex-employee who quit over the Labour MP’s “transphobic” comments.
The GMB Members’ Staff has asked the Labour Party to formally investigate and called for Rosie Duffield to resign as chair of the women’s parliamentary Labour party.
The trade union passed an emergency motion condemning Duffield for having “publicly outed the member of staff who had deliberately chosen to remain anonymous”, leaving the staffer “vulnerable to online abuse and fearful for her safety”, according to Labour List.
Duffield has “abused her position as an MP” and “breached the parliamentary behaviour code in multiple ways”, the union said.
Labour activists began calling for the whip withdrawn when it emerged that the MP had liked a tweet from anti-trans campaigner Maya Forstater that branded the Law Society’s guidance on transition in professional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”.
🚨Our Branch has unanimously passed a motion to condemn the actions of Rosie Duffield MP, and express solidarity with our member who resigned. ✊
— GMB Members’ Staff (@GMB_MPs_Staff) October 15, 2020
LGBT+ Labour, which has campaigned for equality since 1975, said that the situation has “rapidly escalated” and called for the Labour Party to take “swift action”.
“Rosie’s actions over the past few months have rapidly escalated. The Labour Party must firmly stand with us and say they will not tolerate bigotry against members of the LGBT+ community, especially from a Labour MP,” Melantha Chittenden and Heather Peto, co-chairs of LGBT+ Labour, told PinkNews.
“We believe that the situation can no longer be recovered and action must be taken swiftly by the Labour Party.”
Duffield has been embroiled in a row about transphobia since the start of August.
Two staffers have now resigned from Duffield’s team, saying that her opinions and comments about transgender people are “overtly transphobic” and “detrimental to the welfare of the trans community”. A lesbian who quit in August told Duffield that her views on trans rights made continuing to work for her “untenable”.
We are working with the Labour Party to resolve the ongoing issue and stand with our trans members, always.
— LGBT+ Labour (@LGBTLabour) October 14, 2020
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”.
Rosie Duffield issued an apology in August insisting that she had “always” supported trans rights and had been “hurt greatly” by the accusations of transphobia levelled against her.