UK

Farcical Tory leadership contest descends into pathetic anti-trans, gender-critical row

Josh Milton July 10, 2022
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Rishi Sunak leaves his home

Rishi Sunak, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, will allegedly launch a 'manifesto for women's rights'. (Hollie Adams/Getty Images)

Britain’s Tory leadership contest has already descended into a row over trans rights after Rishi Sunak pledged to “protect women’s rights”.

Sunak, who resigned as chancellor of the Exchequer in a body blow to Boris Johnson’s leadership on Tuesday (5 July), entered the race to be the next leader of the Conservative Party and prime minister on Friday.

Quickly becoming the bookmakers’ favourite, Sunak’s campaign is already becoming exactly what LGBTQ+ people expected – an excuse to punch down.

In one of his first policy pledges, the man who was once Britain’s top finance official will choose not to focus on the ongoing cost of living crisis. No, he will reportedly wade into the Tory party’s culture war over trans rights, a tactic that hasn’t exactly gone down well with voters.

An “ally” of Sunak’s told the Mail on Sunday the MP for Richmond would reverse “recent trends to erase women via the use of clumsy, gender-neutral language” and said: “We must be able to call a mother a mother and talk about breastfeeding.”

They added: “He believes we must be able to call a mother a mother and talk about breastfeeding, alongside trans-inclusive language where needed.”

Sunak will launch what the source said was a “manifesto for women’s rights” that will include a commitment to ban trans women from women’s sports for the sake of “fairness” and urge schools to be “more careful” on how LGBTQ+ topics are taught.

“Under his leadership, sex education will be sensitive and age-appropriate, so we enable children to have a childhood. He also recognises that women are still shouldering a disproportionate burden of family life, so will look again at child care and make sure public services are family-friendly.”

It comes after Sunak’s successor, Nadhim Zahawi, sparked fears of a return to Section 28 as he vowed in his leadership bid to shield children from “inappropriate nonsense”.

Touching on a Britain still reeling from the death of Sarah Everard, Sunak will also roll out increased protections for women from harassment.

“He wants to ensure women and girls enjoy the same freedom most males take for granted in feeling safe from assault and abuse. He also plans to increase support for women suffering from domestic abuse, with tougher measures to deal with the perpetrators,” the source said.

Rishi Sunak’s campaign already focusing on trans rights prompted trade policy minister Penny Mordaunt to make her stance perfectly clear as she joined the leadership contest.

The former women and equalities minister launched into a 10-part Twitter thread about how she’s not “woke” and has long had concerns about the “trans orthodoxy”.

She tweeted: “Some people born male and who have been through the gender recognition process are also legally female. That DOES NOT mean they are biological women, like me.”

Mordaunt detailed her years-long involvement in gender equality campaigns, referencing her “real and genuine concerns” about the “volume of girls referred to trans services”.

Minister of State for Trade Penny Mordaunt has clarified that she’s anything but ‘woke’ on trans rights. (Leon Neal/Getty Images)

On sports, she praised UK Sport for embracing a “science-based approach” in its 2021 guidance on trans eligibility. The sports panel warned sports regulators that including trans people and “fairness” cannot be balanced – experts, however, would disagree.

Sharron Davies and Daley Thompson, two Olympians who have criticised trans athletes participating in women’s sports, also received shout-outs from Mordaunt.

“The biology is overwhelmingly important,” Mordaunt said, adding that gender-neutral language in maternity healthcare that is inclusive for trans and non-binary people is something she has opposed.

The thread was a response to comments from Conservatives for Women, a lobbying group that opposes “gender politics“, published by the Daily Mail that said Mordaunt is a “committed warrior for the trans lobby”.

“Some want to damage my reputation for whatever reason. They want to depict me as ‘woke’,” Mordaunt replied.

Mordaunt’s thread was a dizzying U-turn from only a few months ago. In March as Mordaunt spoke about amending a bill on ministerial maternity pay, she took to the dispatch box in the House of Commons to say: “Trans men are men and trans women are women.”

PinkNews contacted Rishi Sunak for comment.

More: 2022 Conservative Party leadership election, penny mordaunt, Rishi Sunak

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