Politics

Trans MP Jamie Wallis’ colourful history and voting record after momentous coming out

Patrick Kelleher March 30, 2022
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Jamie Wallis.

Jamie Wallis. (UK Parliament)

Conservative MP Jamie Wallis has revealed that he is trans, making him the first ever openly trans MP in the UK.

The Welsh MP was met with a wave of love and solidarity when he opened up about his gender identity in a social media post on Wednesday (30 March).

In that post, Jamie Wallis – who has said he will continue to use he/him pronouns for the time being – saids: “I’m trans. Or to be more accurate, I want to be.”

Wallis revealed that he was almost outed in 2020 when a man threatened to expose his gender identity. He demanded £50,000 to keep quiet and was subsequently arrested and imprisoned.

The announcement has led to a flurry of interest in Wallis’ voting record and support for LGBT+ rights.

Who is Jamie Wallis?

Jamie Wallis is an MP for Bridgend in Wales. He was first elected to parliament in the 2019 general election where he defeated Labour MP Madeleine Moon – she had represented the constituency since 2005.

Before he was elected to parliament, Wallis was a member of Pencoed town council. According to Wales Online, he was kicked off the council in 2018 after he failed to attend any meetings for six months in a row. Wallis claimed that he had actually submitted his resignation months before because he had left the area, but that officials hadn’t received his letter.

In a statement at the time, he said the relationship between himself and Labour councillors had “deteriorated” so badly that he didn’t want to communicate with them by phone or email, which is why he sent a letter of resignation instead.

In addition to his political career, Wallis has served as director of a number of private companies over the years.

According to Wales Online, he quit as director of at least seven companies after he was elected to parliament in 2019. One of the companies he was involved with, a claims management company called Action Direct UK, was banned from taking on new clients by the Ministry of Justice in 2011.

Between January 2008 and February 2017, the trading standards regulator received more than 800 complaints about 10 or more companies where Wallis was a director, according to Buzzfeed News.

He faced controversy over his involvement in a ‘sugar daddy’ website

In January 2020, Jamie Wallis found himself at the centre of controversy when Buzzfeed News reported that he had co-owned a “sugar-daddy” website.

The now defunct website, called sugar-daddy.net, offered cash-strapped students the chance to build relationships with wealthy “sponsors”.

In a statement, Wallis denied he had any involvement with the website. He said the site, which was in operation between 2004 and 2010, was “owned and operated by a company named SD Billing Services Ltd”. Wallis insisted he had never had any financial interest in, nor had he been a director, of the company.

However, Buzzfeed alleged that Wallis’ statement did not one up with Companies House records. The news outlet said records showed that Wallis was a co-owner of SD Billing Services.

Conservative MP Jamie Wallis pictured outside 10 Downing Street
Jamie Wallis won praise after they came out publicly as trans. (Facebook)

Later that month, two former employees of one of Wallis’ companies told BBC News that Sugar-Daddy.net was run from the same office where they worked alongside Wallis.

“It’s not believable to think he didn’t know about the site because it was up there on the screen (in the office),” one of the staffers said.

The controversy led to Labour’s Jess Phillips calling on the Conservatives to withdraw the whip from Wallis.

Jamie Wallis was in a car accident in November 2021

When Jamie Wallis came out as trans on 30 March, he also commented on a car accident he had in November 2021.

At 1.10am on 28 November, Wallis’ car collided with a lamppost on Church Road in Llanblethian, Vale of Glamorgan. He apparently fled the scene and was later arrested on suspicion of driving while unfit.

In February, Wallis was fined in relation to an earlier incident that occurred in August 2021. He admitted to having failed to comply with solid white line road markings on the A48.

He was handed a fine of £270 by the Single Justice Procedure at Cardiff Magistrates’ Court and he was given three penalty points.

In his coming out statement, Willis revealed that he has been suffering with PTSD, pointing to this being a factor in him fleeing the November accident.

He said that he had been raped in September 2021 when he arranged a hook-up with somebody he met online.

When Wallis withdrew consent on the basis that the other person refused to wear a condom, he was sexually assaulted, he said.

“I have not been myself since this incident and I don’t think I will ever recover,” Wallis wrote. “It is not something you ever forget, and it is not something you ever move on from.”

Wallis said things had “taken a tumble” since his sexual assault. He referenced the crash in November, saying he “fled the scene” because he was “terrified”.

“I hae PTSD and I honestly have no idea what I was doing except I was overcome by an overwhelming sense of fear. I am sorry that it appears I ‘ran away’ but this isn’t how it happened in the moment.”

What’s his voting record like?

On Twitter, Jamie Wallis describes himself as a “proud unionist”. According to the website TheyWorkForYou.com, which tracks the votes of political representatives, Wallis has consistently voted against EU integration. He’s also voted against measures to reduce tax avoidance.

Since he was elected in 2019, Wallis has generally voted against constitutional reforms that would transfer greater power to the Scottish and Welsh parliaments. He’s also voted against a more proportional system for electing MPs.

According to the website, he’s voted against measures that aim to tackle climate change. On 5 February 2020, he voted not to call on the government to implement a plan to eliminate the majority of transport emissions by 2030.

He has also voted consistently in favour of a stricter asylum system. On 30 June 2020, he voted to remove the rights of “unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, spouses, vulnerable adults and dependent adults to join a family member who is legally present in the United Kingdom”, according to TheyWorkForYou.com.

He has not voted on any issues around LGBT+ rights since he was elected in 2019.

In January, Wallis spoke out publicly against the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) after it called for trans people to be excluded from conversion therapy legislation.

“The EHRC needs to seriously rethink this one,” Wallis tweeted. “If they think that MPs (even evil Brexiteer Unionists such as myself) will stand by and let them drag LGBT+ people into the culture wars in this way then they are mistaken.”

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