Labour peer Lord Moonie has announced his resignations from the party after he was suspended as part of an internal investigation into alleged transphobia.
The 72-year-old member of the House of Lords made the announcement via his social media accounts on Tuesday (May 14).
“I’ve resigned from the Labour Party today. I was accused of transphobia by the usual suspects, and told I must attend a disciplinary hearing. My membership suspended too. Not really up to fighting it so I’ve saved them the trouble. I feel free to carry on campaigning for women,” he wrote on Twitter.
He posted a similar message on Facebook, where he reiterated it wasn’t worth fighting the accusations of transphobia and added that his health “isn’t up to it.”
“We submitted this complaint because the transphobic, homophobic and biphobic content he had regularly posted online has no place in our society, our communities and certainly not within the Labour Party.”
— LGBT Labour co-chair Melantha Chittenden
Moonie’s use of social media is at the heart of the accusations of transphobia moved against the peer by LGBT Labour.
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“We welcome the suspension of Lord Moonie, we submitted this complaint because the transphobic, homophobic and biphobic content he had regularly posted online has no place in our society, our communities and certainly not within the Labour Party,” LGBT Labour co-chair Melantha Chittenden said in a statement.
Chittenden continued: “There is currently a polarising discussion around trans rights across the country and we are seeing anti-trans groups, such as those supported by Lord Moonie, exploit this by peddling misconceptions and misinformation in order to stir up division and hatred.
“We believe that no minority group should have their right to exist up for debate and LGBT Labour has been working hard to ensure our party—and politics more widely—roots out transphobia and is a welcoming space for trans people.”
What did Lord Moonie post on social media?
On Twitter, Lord Moonie describes himself as a “terf.” The term stands for “trans exclusionary radical feminist” and it denotes people who refuse to recognise trans women as women, limiting the definition of womanhood to those who are assigned female at birth.
The peer’s social media activity includes several retweets or shares of content identifying trans women as “men.”
In recent tweets, Lord Moonie also used offensive language to refer to 21-year-old transgender activist and Labour Party’s women’s officer Lily Madigan.
Lord Moonie, who is Scottish, also accused Glasgow councillor Rhiannon Spear of “screeching from the sidelines” for opposing the invitation of Canadian anti-trans writer Meghan Murphy to the Scottish Parliament.
According to The Times, the peer had already received a “reminder of conduct” in January concerning his social media activity.