Sunday Times admits report bashing transgender charity was untrue

Nick Duffy January 17, 2018
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The Sunday Times has admitted that a report attacking transgender charity Mermaids was untrue.

The newspaper, which has become a frequent publisher of stories critical of transgender people over the last few months, published a correction this week admitting one of its stories was not accurate.

The report, printed in the newspaper on October 8, claimed that transgender children’s charity Mermaids is subject to a court order banning it from contact with a child.

The child in question, who cannot be named from legal reasons, allegedly identifies as transgender girl – and was subject to court action when they were removed from their mother.

The Sunday Times had claimed in its headline that the charity “has been banned by the High Court from any contact with a family after the mother”.

It went on to scrutinise government funding for the charity, which provides vital support for families of transgender children.

But after Mermaids complained, the Sunday Times this week issued a correction to the story admitting that no court order exists.

It said: “In our article ‘Charity ban as boy forced to live as girl’ (News, October 8) we reported that Mermaids, the transgender charity, had been banned by the High Court from making contact with a family.

“Mermaids has informed us that it has not been the subject of a court order; rather, it was told by the child’s mother that the judge had said that the child was to have no contact with Mermaids.”

The newspaper also admitted its claims that the group advocates “fast-track cross-sex hormone treatment for children” was false.

The drugs in question are actually puberty blockers, drugs with reversible effects that can delay the onset of puberty for transgender kids but do not include hormones.

The newspaper’s correction added: “It has also asked us to clarify that Dr Birgit Möller did not offer fast-track cross-sex hormone treatment for children; the treatment offered on a fast-track basis was hormone blockers.”

Memaids said: “‪We are pleased that The Times has printed a correction to its previous inaccurate article about Mermaids.‬”

The same issue of the newspaper quoted notorious trans-exclusionary radical feminist Germaine Greer.

According to Greer, “biological women are ‘losing out everywhere’”.

She added: “I’m sick and tired of this. We keep arguing that women have won everything they need to win. They haven’t even won the right to exist.”


Negative coverage of transgender people in the British press surged in 2017.

The government recently postponed a transgender rights review after a transgender ‘moral panic’ in the media which has seen relentless weekly stories targeting transgender people.

The stream of stories have led of a flood of complaints to press regulators IPSO and Impress, but no newspaper has thus far been sanctioned for its coverage.

The Times published a string of articles targeting a 19-year-old transgender girl, after she was named a women’s officer by her constituency Labour Party.

The newspaper targeted Madigan for taking on the local women’s officer role and for applying for the party’s Jo Cox Women in Leadership Scheme.

A Times reporter interviewed anti-trans activists who claimed her presence is a “monstrous insult” to women.

55 female Labour activists involved in the Jo Cox Women in Leadership scheme penned a letter to the editor of The Times disputing their coverage – which the newspaper declined to publish.


Prince Harry previously praised the work of Mermaids at a Buckingham Palace reception.

Susie Green, CEO of Mermaids, met members of the royal family at an event to recognise her work on mental health with trans young people.

Green says she told Prince Harry of the work Mermaids does to advocates for and support transgender children and their families.

So impressed was the fifth in line to the throne that he called the charity’s work “amazing” during their exchange, she told PinkNews.

Speaking to PinkNews ahead of the ceremony, Susie Green said: “Following a rough few days of media mayhem, it is a huge honour to be invited to represent Mermaids and all the work we do at Buckingham Palace.

“Kate, Will and Harry have made their commitment to mental health very clear, and although gender dysphoria is not a mental illness, unfortunately, due to massive prejudice and ignorance, discrimination is still rife and young people and their families are suffering because of this.

“Being recognised by the royal family is a huge boost to Mermaids, and the dedicated team of volunteers, staff and trustees that make our work possible.

“Our detractors try to play down the suicide attempt stats, the bullying and the self-harm, why?

“But for Mermaids, and for me as CEO, this is recognition of the fact that we are making an impact, and as the voice for so many families and young people unable to speak out for fear of repercussions against themselves and their children, we are thankful that gender variant and transgender children are being recognised, and our work on their behalf valued.”


More: report, Trans, Transgender

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