Labour councillor suffered horrific, transphobic abuse in women’s toilet at party conference

Labour councillor hit with transphobic abuse in toilet at party conference

A transgender councillor has reported being targeted with transphobic abuse in a women’s toilet at the annual Labour Party Conference.

Speaking at the conference hall in Brighton on Tuesday (28 September), Pendle Labour councillor Patricia Hannah-Wood recalled the abuse she allegedly received from a fellow delegate days prior.

“On Sunday evening… I was in the loo downstairs with a few of my colleagues from the North West when I was transphobically abused in this conference centre by one of our sisters in this conference hall now,” she said.

“It should not happen, we have got an anti-bigotry and anti-bullying policy in the Labour Party. We need it to be enforced.”
Hannah-Wood said the LGBT+ community is “under constant attack”, adding: “Within our own families, without our families, within our workplace, here within our conference. This is not acceptable.”

She raised the abuse as she moved a motion which urged the party to recognise the “obstacles and growing violence” faced by LGBT+ people, implement a ban on conversion therapy and make its use on under-18s a “form of child abuse, punishable by law”.

The motion, supported by conference, also asserted trans people’s “same right for self-determination as anyone else” and called for equal access to domestic abuse and rape support shelters.

The rights of trans people to self-identify and access single-sex spaces have become a source of contention in the party, with the strongest opposition led by Canterbury MP Rosie Duffield.

The issue reached a head before the conference when Duffield announced that she would not attend Labour Party Conference after allegedly receiving advice that her safety could be compromised.

However, she went on to appear at a non-official fringe event on Tuesday evening at a Brighton hotel where she criticised Keir Starmer’s position on women’s rights.

“I feel like the Labour Party has to have some clear lines and Keir especially is, sort of, didn’t come across as particularly clear on that interview the other day,” she told Sky News, referring to Starmer’s recent appearance on the Andrew Marr Show.

“What women like me want is just a pledge that the single-sex exemptions will be kept in the 2010 Equality Act. We are absolutely OK with the path to self-ID being made easier and trans rights being made easier, but we have to have single sex spaces protected and that is all we want really.”

A Labour spokesperson told PinkNews last week that the party is committed to upholding the Equality Act.

“The Labour Party is absolutely committed to advancing trans rights and we continue to support updating the GRA to introduce self-declaration for trans people and upholding the Equality Act. We are also committed to improving the diversity of our elected representatives,” they said.

“Trans people are one of the most discriminated against groups in society. The Labour party will ensure every trans person can live with respect and dignity in an equal and inclusive society.”

Asked by Sky News if she would quit the party in the face of the criticism she has received, Duffield replied: “Absolutely not, no.”

It is understood that Rosie Duffield remains the subject of an ongoing investigation.