Ann Widdecombe lashes out at transgender ‘lunacy’ in Express column

Ann Widdecombe has branded the acceptance of transgender people “lunacy” in her newspaper column.

Conservative politician Widdecombe, a consistent opponent of LGBT rights, joined rising media criticism of transgender people in her Daily Express column today (June 6).

The former Tory minister claimed that the country has “suddenly gone mad over transgenderism” due to “a combination of grievance, political cowardice and a love of bandwagons.”

She branded trans-inclusive policies as a “prevailing lunacy”.

Widdecombe wrote: “Let us look at hard facts. We are born either male or female, an arrangement of nature which allows us to reproduce as a species.”

(Photo: Celebrity Big Brother)

She added: “It is beyond belief that any government should say it is enough to say you are the opposite sex to be recognised as such.

“Yet such is the prevailing lunacy that heads of schools have decided to abandon the division of lavatories into male and female, the Labour Party is in a tizzy about whether men should be allowed to apply for all-woman shortlists if they ‘self-identify’ as women, men can invade women’s changing rooms just by claiming to be female and male prisoners, some violent, can demand to be housed in women’s jails.

“The whole dangerous farce needs stoping in its tracks. Boys are boys and girls are girls and no should ever be prevented from saying so.”

Ann Widdecombe

(Photo: After The News, ITV)

Widdecombe added: “Similarly men are men and women are women and only when they have passed rigorous medical analysis and undergone the necessary procedures to effect real change should they be allowed to assert otherwise or at any rate expect society to act upon such assertion.”

The comments will come as no surprise given Widdecombe’s long history of anti-gay rhetoric.

Widdecombe, a former Conservative minister, spent decades battling equal rights reforms in the UK.

As Conservative MP for Maidstone and The Weald from 1987 until 2010, she strongly opposed gay rights – voting to block them at every opportunity.

Widdecombe opposed every single equality measure for LGBT people during her 23 years as an MP,  opposing an equal age of consent, the repeal of Section 28, the Equality Act, same-sex adoption and civil partnerships.

(Photo: Celebrity Big Brother)

She previously defended the practice of gay ‘cure’ therapy and has claimed people should have the “freedom” to discriminate against gay couples.

In a 2012 column she questioned the lack of availability of therapy for “gays who do not want to be gay” – a practice disavowed by nearly every major medical and psychological body.

Broadcast regulator Ofcom recently rejected more than 100 homophobia complaints about her behaviour while appearing on Celebrity Big Brother.

The Conservative politician repeatedly clashed with drag star Courtney Act, real name Shane Jenek, on the Channel 5 reality show over LGBT rights.

Widdecombe criticised Jenek’s “lewd” behaviour with fellow housemate Andrew Brady, calling the pair “disgusting” and telling Brady that his mother and grandmother would be ashamed of him for the homoerotic flirtations.

Related: Ann Widdecombe attacks Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for supporting LGBT rights