Prime minister Gordon Brown has made a statement describing violence and harassment against trans people as “utterly unacceptable”.

He made the comments to mark the 11th International Transgender Day of Remembrance, which recognises trans people worldwide who have died as a result of prejudice and hate.

In a statement given to PinkNews.co.uk, Brown said: “Today is a chance for all of us to reflect on how far we have come and what is left to do in the battle for equality.

“The Gender Recognition Act is just one of a range of measures introduced by this government to deliver fairness on LGBT rights.

“But the level of violence, harassment and discrimination still faced by the trans community is utterly unacceptable and I am committed to doing all that we can, through the recent Hate Crime Action plan and the forthcoming Equalities Bill, to deliver true equality.

“Defeating hate will take not just policies but pride, so please accept my thanks for your courage in speaking out against bigotry wherever it is found.”

Deputy minister for women and equalities, Maria Eagle, also released a statement.

Eagle, who is the twin sister of lesbian minister for pensions Angela Eagle, said: “Today the government joins the transgender community in remembering those trans people who have died as a consequence of intolerance and prejudice.

“No one should suffer threats or violence because of their gender identity. The government is committed to fighting hate crime, promoting equality and tackling discrimination and bigotry in all its guises.

“That’s why we have recently launched the Cross-Government Hate Crime Action Plan which sets out how we plan to tackle hate crime and improve support for victims.”

A vigil will be held at the 52 Club in Gower Street, London, tomorrow from 2.15pm. For more information on other national and international events, click here.