Labour MP explains how Tory attacks on trans rights, refugees and railway workers are linked

Zarah Sultana blasts Tories' "anti-trans, anti-refugee, anti-worker" rhetoric

Labour MP Zarah Sultana has blasted the Tory party’s “disgraceful” anti-trans, anti-refugee and anti-worker rhetoric in an impassioned speech to parliament.

Speaking on Wednesday (22 June) in support of the UK-wide rail strikes, Sultana explained that these policies are linked in their “attempt to divide our communities, and distract us from its failure to serve the British people”.

Sultana, 28, explained that she had attended a demonstration against the government’s Rwanda deportation policy just after hearing the debate on trans conversion therapy last Monday (13 June).

“The Rwanda policy, which has nothing to do with tackling people smuggling and everything to do with whipping up hate, demonising marginalised groups and pitting people who were born here against people who seek asylum here,” she said in a video posted to Twitter.

She added: “It’s also what the refusal to ban trans conversion therapy is about, letting abusive practices against trans people go unpunished in order to pit cis women against trans women.

“It’s also what the demonisation of railway workers and RMT is all about… vilifying workers who are standing up for their jobs, for their pay and for their conditions, and pitting those railway workers against other workers.

“It’s all an attempt to distract and divide our time with this government is overseeing the cost of living emergency and a growing poverty crisis across the country.

“The problem isn’t railroad workers. It’s not refugees, and it’s not trans women. The problem is this Tory government and the billionaires that back them.”

The debate on trans conversion therapy Sultana referenced brought Tory and Labour MPs alike together to push for an end to the cruel practice for all members of the LGBTQ+ community.

The debate took place after a petition was signed by more than 145,000 people, calling for trans people to be included in the proposed ban on conversion therapy.

Labour MP Nadia Whittome said during the debate: “I am extremely and deeply concerned that trans people’s exclusion is yet another cynical attempt by this government to create a culture war between these different groups.

“I believe that just as society looks back at that time [the 1980s] with disgust how gay people were treated in decades gone by, we will also hang our heads in shame at trans people’s treatment in decades to come.”