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Second staffer quits Rosie Duffield’s team over the Labour MP’s ‘transphobic’ comments

Vic Parsons October 14, 2020
Second staffer quits Rosie Duffield's team over MP's 'transphobic' views

Two of Rosie Duffield's team have quit since August over the MP's "transphobic" views. (Facebook/RosieDuffieldCanterbury)

A cis woman is the second member of staff to hand in her resignation to Rosie Duffield over the Labour MP’s “transphobic” comments.

Duffield, 49, is embroiled in a months-long transphobia row that has seen two staff resign from her office in two months – with both citing her repeated comments about trans people as their reason for leaving.

The latest staffer to quit wrote a resignation letter, seen by PinkNews, that slammed Duffield’s views as “worthy of condemnation” and “detrimental to the welfare of the trans community in the UK”.

The ex-team member also said that Duffield’s “recent activities on social media are contrary to my values” and advised the MP to “re-consider your recent comments on trans issues on social media”.

Rosie Duffield, who was elected Labour’s first-ever Canterbury MP in 2017, was first accused of “transphobia” at the beginning of August after wading into a heated online row about who has a cervix. Criticised by the LGBT+ community for excluding trans men and some non-binary people, Duffield initially doubled down on her views before issuing an apology.

Days later, a cis lesbian was the first staffer to quit Duffield’s team over the MP’s continued anti-trans statements – and she also hit back at Duffield’s claim to be a longtime LGBT+ ally.

Duffield’s comments about only women having cervixes, Sophie* (name changed to protect identity) wrote in her resignation letter, were “troubling” and “offensive to the trans community”.

“Furthermore, your lack of retraction of these words indicated that it was indeed your stance, which I believe to be transphobic,” she said. “This put me, an LGBT+ member of your team and someone who has campaigned for LGBT+ rights for most of my life, in a highly compromised position.”

In October, Labour activists called for Rosie Duffield to have the whip withdrawn after it emerged that the MP had liked a tweet from anti-trans campaigner Maya Forstater that branded the Law Society’s guidance on transition in professional settings as “celebrating cross dressers in the office”.

Labour’s deputy leader, Angela Rayner, then became the first senior Labour politician to publicly comment on the transphobia row, saying she thought Duffield should “reflect” on her comments. But instead the MP escalated tensions in an interview with The Times, condemning the criticism of her views on trans issues as “base, pure misogyny”.

However, the team member who just quit told Duffield: “I am a radical feminist; this is central to my politics. I have spent a lot of time thinking and reading about ‘gender critical feminism‘.

“It is tedious and unedifying to watch you claim that you are being bullied or victimised by trans Labour members, young activists, and even the co-chair of LGBT Labour.

“I think you will ultimately find the adulation of people with JK Rowling hashtags in their bios proves hollow succour.”

PinkNews has contacted Rosie Duffield and the Labour Party for comment.

 

More: Angela Rayner, Canterbury, feminism, JK Rowling, Labour, radical feminism, rosie duffield, transphobia

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