Labour Party row over transgender women on all-women shortlists for Parliament

A Labour MP has received a barrage criticism from anti-transgender feminist campaigners after defending the right of transgender women be stand on all-women shortlists.

The UK’s Labour Party uses women-only shortlists in a number of constituencies in a bid to boost the number of female MPs in Parliament.

Under the system, some local Labour Parties are required to pick a Parliamentary candidate from a list exclusively comprised of women.

Dawn Butler, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, this week gave her backing to transgender women who stand under the system.

There are currently zero openly transgender MPs in Parliament, though several ran for election in 2017, and many serve as local councillors.

Labour’s Dawn Butler (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

Speaking to This House Magazine, Ms Butler said: “I think if a trans woman wanted to be included in an all-women shortlist then that should be considered.”

Transgender women are already permitted to stand on all-women shortlists.

But her comments have led to a barrage of abuse from anti-transgender campaigners on social media, with messages branding her a “rat” and calling for her deselection.

One said: “What on earth is the point of all women shortlists if they include men? Will equality be achieved if there are 650 men in Parliament as long as 325 claim to feel like a woman? This is so regressive.”

Another tweet added: “Transwomen are not women, they are TRANSwomen, ie biological males. Or are you joining the ranks of the ‘bugger science’ brigade & expanding ‘female’ to accommodate ‘male’ too?”

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