Daily Mail defends transphobic Richard Littlejohn column despite criticism by Lucy Meadows’ coroner

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Following stinging criticism by coroner Michael Singleton, the Daily Mail has once again defended an article by Richard Littlejohn about transgender primary school teacher Lucy Meadows.

The paper outed her on a national scale in December last year after her gender transition was made public by a local newspaper.

Daily Mail columnist Richard Littlejohn wrote about Meadows in a column, which claimed her transition would be too “challenging” for children.

“These are primary school children, for heaven’s sake. Most them still believe in Father Christmas. Let them enjoy their childhood. They will lose their innocence soon enough.”

He continued to write that he thought Meadows was entitled to gender reassignment surgery, but said that he thought her returning to the same school was “selfish”.

“By insisting on returning to St Mary Magdalen’s, he is putting his own selfish needs ahead of the well-being of the children he has taught for the past few years.

Since her death the column has been edited to remove the reference to Meadows.

More than 200,000 people called for the Mail to sack Richard Littlejohn in March. 

Yesterday, coroner Michael Singleton said the media should be ashamed of themselves for the way they hounded Meadows.

She was found dead in February having killed herself.

Mr Singleton also accused the Daily Mail of “character assassination, having sought to ridicule and humiliate Lucy Meadows and bring into question her right to pursue her career as a teacher”.

Meadows contacted the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) in January to complain about the way she had been treated in the press.

However, it is understood the complaint was not specifically against Daily Mail columnist Richard Littlejohn, but of wider press practices.

A spokesman for the paper said: “Richard Littlejohn’s column emphatically defended the rights of people to have sex change operations but echoed some parents’ concerns about whether it was right to for children to have to confront such complex gender problems at such a vulnerable young age.

“Among the many reasons Miss Meadows gave for taking her actions, none blamed the press coverage. Miss Meadows herself thanked the PCC for the way her complaint was amicably resolved.”

Meanwhile, Trans Media Watch, the charity dedicated to improving media representation of transgender and intersex people, has called for the press to end its “character assassination” of trans people.