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Labour’s Lisa Nandy vows to ‘redouble her efforts’ standing up for trans rights after barrage of ‘hate and anger’

Vic Parsons February 21, 2020

Lisa Nandy speaking at the PinkNews LGBT+ leadership hustings, supported by Diva Magazine, on February 20.

Labour leadership hopeful Lisa Nandy has pledged to “redouble her efforts” to back trans rights after being heckled by anti-trans activists at a leadership hustings.

The Wigan MP said that attempts to “shout her down” when talking about trans rights means she’ll amp up her support instead.

Nandy, 40, said she was targeted by a barrage of “hate and anger” as she was repeatedly heckled during a PinkNews LGBT+ Labour hustings in Manchester on February 20, supported by Diva magazine.

A small but loud group of protestors demanded the candidates “define a woman” after Nandy and fellow leadership hopeful Rebecca Long-Bailey signed pledges published by the Labour Campaign for Trans Rights.

The pledges commit them to expelling people with transphobic views from Labour.

One person in the audience accused the candidates of not knowing “what the definition of woman is” and said “women’s voices are being shut down” in the leadership hopefuls’ support for the trans and non-binary community.

The second time she was heckled, Nandy said: “I signed the pledge precisely for this reason, because we have got to be better than this as a level of debate in this party.

“I will not stop no matter who tries to shout me down.”

Keir Starmer has not signed the Labour Campaign for Trans Rights pledges but has, like Nandy and Long-Bailey, backed reforming the 2004 Gender Recognition Act so that trans people don’t have to have a medical diagnosis before updating the gender on their birth certificate.

Lisa Nandy heckled by LGB Alliance supporters.

Groups that were set up to oppose GRA reforms, like A Woman’s Place UK and LGB Alliance, were named in the pledges as “trans-exclusionary hate groups” and the Labour Campaign for Trans Rights say that members or supporters of the groups must be expelled from the party.

Supporters of those groups, who deny they are transphobic, have been leaving Labour in the week since the pledges were published and have been loudly accusing trans people and their allies of being misogynists.

A person in the audience wearing an LGB Alliance T-shirt was the first to heckle the speakers.

The person in a black t-shirt with the LGB Alliance slogan, seen here being confronted by event security, was the first to heckle Lisa Nandy over her support for trans rights.

In response to the anti-trans hecklers, Nandy said: “I’ve had a bit of a taste of this over the past week. I signed a pledge along with Becky about standing up for trans rights because I believe trans men are men and trans women are women and we should say that loud and clear as a party.

I believe trans men are men and trans women are women.

“And the amount of hate and anger that’s been directed my way in the last week, it’s given me a very, very small taste of what people in the trans community have to face on a daily basis.

“So I will redouble my efforts to stand up for trans rights.”

Tony Blair wouldn’t sign trans rights pledges.

At the deputy leadership hustings in Manchester yesterday, former Labour prime minister Tony Blair came under fire for his comments saying that he wouldn’t have signed the Labour Campaign for Trans Rights pledges and that Labour should not fight “the culture war” on trans rights.

Angel Rayner, shadow education secretary, said: “I’m pretty upset about what Tony Blair said today.

“There’s a number of things that was wrong with it. First of all, for me, leadership shouldn’t talk like this, you don’t choose your battles.

“Transgender women have not chosen to be in the middle of a battle and it’s not just about a political football, it’s people’s lives.”

More: Keir Starmer, lgbt+ hustings, lisa nandy, Rebecca long Bailey, trans rights

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