Tories Crispin Blunt and Sue Pascoe hit out at media for driving ‘moral panic’ over trans kids

Tory MP Crispin Blunt and Conservative activist Sue Pascoe

Tory MP Crispin Blunt and trans conservative activist Sue Pascoe have jointly criticised the British media for driving a “moral panic” about trans children.

In an article for Conservative Home, Blunt and Pascoe criticised some factions of the media for “misreporting” the facts about trans people’s identities.

In their co-authored article, Blunt and Pascoe wrote: “We are currently in a moral panic about transgender children, which is driven by fear mongering and clickbait reporting of certain sections of the media.”

They went on to point out that the moral panic about gay and lesbian children in the 1980s, driven in large part by the British media, culminated with Section 28, a law that prohibited the promotion of homosexuality in schools.

Blunt and Pascoe argued that the UK is “committed to the principle of non-discrimination on any grounds”, adding that Westminster and Holyrood should always work to protect the rights of minorities.

“This is because the media have had a field day fear mongering, misquoting and creating moral panic over the Scottish Government’s ‘Supporting Transgender Pupils in Schools – Guidance for Scottish Schools,'” Blunt and Pascoe wrote.

British press suggesting children need to be ‘locked away for protection’

They said they have read the Scottish government’s document, describing it as “sensible” and “pragmatic”.

“Reading the press, however, you would think the world was about to end and everyone’s children needed to be locked away for protection. We exaggerate but not much.”

Blunt and Pascoe went on to draw attention to a particular headline about the Scottish Government’s trans-inclusive document, suggesting the newspaper was deliberately trying to stir up a “moral panic”.

They suggested the “objective” of such reporting is to “restrict the rights of transgender children by creating panic”.

“The media are creating moral panic just as was done in the run up to Section 28 being enacted,” Blunt and Pascoe wrote.

They said history “is being repeated”, arguing that the media commentary around trans kids is the same as the “debate” about gay children in the 1980s.

Much has been made of the relentless stream of anti-trans sentiment in the British media in recent years.

Analysis from Mermaids, a charity that supports trans youth, shows that the British press has vastly increased its coverage of trans issues over the last decade.

An increasing number of newspaper stories about trans people take a negative slant, with many journalists and commentators questioning whether it is right to affirm a trans child’s identity.