Jenny Jones: It’s unbelievable that Rupert Read is labelled transphobic
Green Party peer Jenny Jones has spoken out in defence of candidate Rupert Read – appearing to put her at odds with her party leadership.
Green leader Natalie Bennett said she was “disappointed” by Mr Read’s remarks last month, after he claimed it was “troubling” to use the word ‘cisgender’ to refer to people who aren’t transgender, and suggested feminists should not be “forced” to regard trans women as women.
However, despite the statement from the party leadership, Green peer Baroness Jenny Jones has stepped in to defend Mr Read, the party’s candidate for Cambridge.
Referring to a row that also embroiled rights campaigner Peter Tatchell and academic Mary Beard, she tweeted: “Unbelievable that (…) @GreenRupertRead are being labelled phobic about anything except injustice.
Baroness Jones, who was formerly the party’s candidate for Mayor of London, declined to comment about the apparent difference in opinion – but later tweeted: “I loathe conflict and I would like a peaceful resolution.”
She told PinkNews: “In any struggle it’s important to make sure you’ve got the right enemy and I don’t think we have the right enemy here.”
She also said she would welcome a summit about what it means to be phobic, offering “to book a room in the Lords”.
The previous statement from Green leader Natalie Bennett, and deputies Amelia Womack and Shahrar Ali said previously: As leaders of the Green Party we wish to state our disappointment with the comments made by Rupert Read and express our sympathies with anyone who was hurt or offended by his remarks.
“We are pleased that Rupert Read has issued a full apology and hope that his meetings with LGBTIQ groups will help to repair some of the upset that has been caused.
“The Green Party is wholly committed to fighting for equality and fair representation for all transgender and LGBTIQ communities and we wish to reiterate and reaffirm our party’s commitment to that cause.”