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Ministry of Justice categorically denies Rory Stewart’s preposterous claim that trans prisoners are ‘raping female prison staff’

Vic Parsons May 7, 2020
No, Rory Stewart, transgender prisoners aren't "raping female prison staff"

Rory Stewart claimed that female prison staff were being "raped by transgender prisoners" in April 2020. (Peter Summers/Getty Images)

The Ministry of Justice has flatly denied claims made by former prisons minister Rory Stewart that transgender prisoners are “raping female prison staff”.

In a written answer published on May 5, Lord Keen – a barrister and the spokesperson for MOJ business in the House of Lords – attested that there had been “no reported incidents” of female prison staff being raped by trans inmates.

“There have been no reported incidents of any type of sexual assault against prison officers by transgender prisoners,” Keen wrote, in response to an April 21 written question about the number of “sexual assaults carried out by trans prisoners against women prisoners and prison officers”.

Keen added that, since 2010, of the 122 sexual assaults that occurred in the female prison estate in the UK, a total of five had been perpetrated by trans individuals.

“We have strict safeguards in place to care for and manage transgender individuals in custody while protecting our staff and others in custody,” Keen confirmed.

Stewart, the former Tory cabinet minister who yesterday pulled out of the London mayoral election, had made the claims in an interview with GQ Magazine on April 19.

When asked about whether he thought trans women should be allowed into women-only spaces like toilets and changing rooms – a right that trans women already have, under the Equality Act 2010 – Stewart said he was “instinctively worried about that”.

He continued: “Partly because when I was prisons minister, we had situations of male prisoners self-identifying as females then raping staff in prison.”

Stewart’s categorically untrue comments were subsequently reported by multiple national newspapers including the Telegraph, Daily Mail, and The Sun.

According to a 2019 MOJ report, there are 163 trans inmates in England and Wales who don’t have their gender legally recognised, with only 11 of these people being housed in the correct facility for their gender.

This means that more than 93 per cent of trans prisoners without legal gender recognition are housed in a prison that corresponds to the gender they were assigned at birth – trans women in men’s prisons, and trans men in women’s prisons.

Legal gender recognition is the process by which trans people can update the gender marker on their birth certificate, governed by the Gender Recognition Act.

Since it came into force in 2004, just 4,910 trans people have used the GRA to gain legal gender recognition – out of an estimated population of half a million trans people in the UK.

Rory Stewart has been contacted for comment.

More: gender recognition act, GRA Reform, rape, rory stewart, sexual assault, Trans, trans prisoners

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