Wales’ first minister Mark Drakeford says, quite simply, that ‘trans women are women’

A photo shows first minister of Wales Mark Drakeford wearing a grey suit jacket, white shirt, red tie and glasses as he smiles at the camera

Mark Drakeford, first minister of Wales, has unequivocally declared that trans women are women while answering a question about inclusion in sport.

On Tuesday (7 June), Drakeford was questioned in the Senedd by Tory MS Laura Anne Jones about trans women’s participation in sports.

She told him: “We all know the huge benefits that sports can offer, and we all, I’m sure, want to ensure trans athletes can participate in sport. But what we don’t want is a situation where we’re trying to be so inclusive that it is to the detriment of a particular group.”

Jones insisted that “women athletes are so disheartened that they are pulling out of their own female categories because they say that trans women taking part in a female category have a male-puberty advantage”, and added: “First minister, do you believe that trans athletes should compete in female sports?

“As, however you feel on this issue, to resolve it, it is fundamental that one can define a woman. So, first minister, can you do something that many other Labour politicians have failed to do so far, which is define a woman?”

Drakeford refused to be sucked in by the loaded question, a popular dogwhistle among anti-trans politicians in both the UK and the US, and told Jones: “My starting point is the same as Penny Mordaunt, the UK minister responsible at the time, who said that the UK government’s starting point was that transgender women are women, and that’s my starting point in this debate.

“Look, it is a difficult area where people feel very strongly on different sides of an argument, and an argument that divides people who agree on most other things.”

Mark Drakeford said there is no such thing as ‘too inclusive’

Mark Drakeford also hit back at one of Laura Anne Jones’s confusing points: “I do not understand the point that the member makes: that you can be too inclusive.

“To me, inclusivity is absolutely what we should be aiming for here, and the way to resolve those challenging issues that she’s identified – and I’ve got no objection at all to her identifying them, but the way to resolve them is not to assume that because we ourselves may have strong views, that that allows us to cast doubt on the sincerity of views held strongly by others.

“It’s only by dialogue and by understanding that you can reach a conclusion to the sorts of questions the member has raised.”

LGBTQ+ folk praised Drakeford’s measured and sensible response on social media, with one Twitter user writing: “Mark really is such a credit to Wales and the Labour Party. I wish there were more people in British politics with his absolute decency.”

“Kudos to my country’s first minister, Mark Drakeford, on clearly, ie unambiguously, stating that trans women are women,” tweeted another.

“Welsh Tories, meanwhile, are still talking as if trans women’s rights and women’s rights are mutually exclusive.”

Drakeford’s fellow Welsh Labour politicians also celebrated his comments.


Welsh Labour councillor Jamie Green tweeted: “Glad to see [the first minister] standing up for trans rights in the Senedd.

“As the Tories continue to weaponise this issue as part of their culture war, it’s vital we in Welsh Labour are clear – trans women are women, and trans rights are human rights.”