The Green Party’s LGBTIQ group has spoken out against one of the party’s candidates, after he made a number of controversial comments about trans people.

Rupert Read – the party’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Cambridge, came under fire for a number of tweets in which he claimed it was offensive to use the word ‘cisgender’ to refer to people who aren’t transgender.

He also referred to trans women as “a sort of ‘opt-in’ version of what it is to be a woman”, and suggested people should not be “forced” to regard trans women as women.

The candidate later apologised for his comments – but he has been condemned by the LGBTIQ Greens, the party’s official group.

Benali Hamdache, the chair of the LGBTIQ Greens, said: “We are dismayed and disagree utterly with comments coming from Green Parliamentary candidate Rupert Read.

“Both recent comments on Twitter and his blog article indicate a worrying attitude towards his understanding of trans issues, concerns and rights.

“Rupert’s comments fall short of the high expectations we have of Green candidates and we are deeply concerned with any suggestion that the party is not trans inclusive.

“This comes just at a time when the party is looking to update it’s policy on trans inclusion at the upcoming Spring conference and work towards publishing the most trans accepting manifesto of any party.

“Rupert has taken the first step by partially apologising for his comments.

“We invite Rupert Read to continue this process, to engage with LGBTIQ Greens and listen to our deep concerns over his comments on trans people and of the phenomena that is trans.

“We will continue to work to make sure the Green Party is a trans inclusive party and that all candidates and members are briefed and aware of trans issues.”