Liz Truss insists government ‘has no interest’ in banning trans people from single-sex spaces

Minister for Women and Equalities Liz Truss

Equalities minister Liz Truss has insisted that the government “has no interest” in banning trans people from single-sex spaces.

On Monday (21 February), it was revealed that Truss had written a letter to Baroness Kishwer Falkner, chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), concerning the ongoing scandal over leaked documents from the body.

Earlier this month, an “unpublished guidance pack dated from the end of 2021” was leaked to Vice World News, which appeared to show that the EHRC was proposing to advise organisations like prisons and gyms to bar trans people from single-sex spaces unless they hold a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC), which less than one per cent of trans people hold.

The EHRC denied any involvement with the guidance pack, insisting it “does not match any document we are aware of”.

In her letter, seen by the i, Truss told Falkner: “The Equality Act makes it clear that providers have the right to restrict use of spaces on the basis of sex as currently takes place.

“The government has no interest in changing the current situation where transgender people are able to use facilities of their chosen gender.

“I very much support your attempts to correct the record and know that you will be seeking to engage and reassure LGBT groups on these issues privately too.”

The LGBT+ community, however, was understandably hesitant to take Truss’s words at face value.

According to her letter, she is “fully committed to ensuring that all people, including transgender people, are free to live and to prosper in modern Britain”.

Truss became minister for women and equalities in 2019, and declared right from the start that she was determined to move away from the “identity politics” of the left.

Since then she has waged war on the “woke bandwagon”, refused to meaningfully reform the Gender Recognition Act (GRA), insisted that “medical checks are important” for the recognition of trans people, disbanded and never reinstated the government’s LGBT Advisory Panel, and has still failed to deliver a ban on conversion therapy.

One Twitter user responded to Truss’s letter: “Reckon the [Government Equalities Office] is crapping itself over the recent EHRC scandal and is trying to do some damage limitation.”

“Truss wants them to quietly be an obstacle to trans rights and this hasn’t been quiet,” said another. “Hence the course correction here.”

Trans activist and YouTuber Katy Montgomerie added: “Pretty dogwhistle laden and garbage letter from Liz Truss on the whole, but in context her telling the EHRC chair to back off trying to take away trans people’s rights to use sex segregated spaces is pretty big.

“Imagine Liz Truss telling you not to be so transphobic #EHRCfail.”