Tory ex-minister for mental health says she agrees with Piers Morgan that gender debate is ‘absolutely f**king nuts’

The Conservatives’ former minister for mental health, Jackie Doyle-Price, has publicly agreed with Piers Morgan that the gender debate is “absolutely f**king nuts” and “discriminatory towards women”.

Doyle-Price was the UK Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Mental Health, Inequalities and Suicide Prevention, up until July 2019, as well as MP for Thurrock.

On October 21 she expressed her agreement with a tweet from Piers Morgan, the notoriously ‘anti-trans’ TV presenter who last week faced calls to resign over his persistent ‘transphobic’ comments.

In response to Morgan calling the gender debate “absolutely f**king nuts”, the former mental health minister wrote: “I quite agree. Self declaration of gender WILL be abused by those inclined and is discriminatory towards women. Time to end this madness and have a proper ethical debate about gender. There is no legal framework for this.”

In May 2013, Doyle-Price voted against allowing same-sex couples to marry. She has also voted against making it illegal to discriminate on the basis of caste, and in favour of repealing the Human Rights Act 1998.

Her comments on self-declaration of gender are particularly concerning given her former role leading on mental health and suicide prevention, among other areas.

The LGBT+ population is disproportionately affected by mental health problems, with a recent Stonewall report finding that more than half (52 per cent) have experienced depression in the last year.

The rate of depression is highest among trans and non-binary people, whose right to self-identify Doyle-Price describes as “madness”.

Jackie Doyle-Price travelling around her constituency on a battle bus on April 21, 2015 (Rob Stothard/Getty)

Two thirds of UK trans people (67 per cent) and seven in ten non-binary people (70 per cent) have experienced depression in the last year. And almost half (48 per cent) of UK trans people have attempted suicide at least once, and 84 per cent have thought about it.

Many cite the opposition to trans rights being driven by the frequent transphobic dialogue in the UK media as having a direct impact on their mental health.

Doyle-Price told PinkNews: “My tweet is a response to the story that convicted rapists are being enabled by police to declare themselves as females.  I stand by my view that is wrong and discriminatory towards women as expressed in that tweet.  I speak up for women who are victims of sexual violence.  I will continue to do so.

“The sad thing is that the failure to have a proper debate about these matters means that public authorities are making choices about how to discharge their equality obligations and some of those decisions are questionable.  This does not help establish a society which respects the rights of those who are transgender.”

PinkNews also contacted LGBT+ Conservatives. Its chairman, Colm Howard-Lloyd, referred to his tweet in response to Doyle-Price, which rebukes her as a former Mental Health Minister for using the term “madness” to describe the debate.