The Labour Party’s appointment of transgender activist Munroe Bergdorf to its LGBT+ advisory board has been slammed by a prominent Conservative Party MP.
At an LGBT+ History Month event hosted by Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, the model announced that she had joined the board to assist Shadow Equalities Secretary Dawn Butler.
Bergdorf has repeatedly sparked controversy with her critiques of race, not least when she was fired by L’Oréal for saying that all white people were racist.
On Facebook after the Charlottesville white supremacist march in August, she wrote: “Your entire existence is drenched in racism.
“From micro-aggressions to terrorism, you guys built the blueprint for this s***.”
Bergdorf added: “Once white people begin to admit that their race is the most violent and oppressive force of nature on Earth…then we can talk.”
Conservative Party vice-chair Helen Grant has called these comments – along with other alleged remarks from Bergdorf – “abhorrent” in an open letter to Butler.
Grant, the first black Tory MP and a former Minister for Sport and Tourism, wrote on Twitter that Butler “urgently needs to reconsider her appointment of Munroe Bergdorf.”
She attached the letter to Butler to the tweet, which claims that Bergdorf has made “deeply concerning comments,” including calling gay Tory activists a “special kind of dickhead”.
Grant also alleged that Bergdorf had called suffragettes “white supremacists” and said that white people were “socially conditioned to be racist”.
The Tory MP for Maidstone and The Weald told Butler: “There really is no excuse for these abhorrent slurs and, fundamentally, they damage the campaign to promote equality and diversity across public life.”
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She added: “The kind of language Bergdorf has used has no place in public life, and ought to be condemned by all those who are serious about promoting equality.”
Butler announced that she would be creating the advisory board in January after a debate surrounding self-identifying trans women being included on all-women shortlists came to a head.
Former Labour Party member Jennifer James spearheaded a campaign to block self-identifying trans women from all women shortlists in the Labour Party .
The creator of the Crowdfunder campaign Jennifer James has since been suspended from the Party.
“I think if a trans woman wanted to be included in an all-women shortlist then that should be considered,” she said to In House magazine.
“I just don’t think people really need to make a big fuss about it. I mean if one of my team members came into the office and decided that James wanted to be called Jane and was now a woman I would not say ‘prove it, what do you mean?’.
“We will be taking guidance and advice from people who are LGBT+ – who don’t all agree – round the table, because they are not a homogeneous group who all agree on one thing or another. You need people who have lived experiences in order to make informed decisions,” she added.
Corbyn also spoke out in support of self-identifying trans women, and said that their identity “should be respected”.
“My mind is that I look at the person in front of me. That’s their identification, that should be respected,” said Corbyn.