Angela Rayner says trans people should trust Labour: ‘Trans women’s rights are women’s rights’

Angela Rayner on LBC

The Labour Party’s firebrand deputy leader Angela Rayner has doubled down on her position that “trans women’s rights are women’s rights” during a radio broadcast on LBC.

During her first stint as an LBC radio host – standing in for James O’Brien – Rayner discussed a number of subjects with callers across the UK including Brexit, the Tory leadership race and, somewhat predictably, trans rights.

One caller – a 19-year-old trans woman from the southwest called Rebecca – expressed her fears that the current Conservative Party leadership race has left trans people as a “political football” and asked whether she can trust a potential Labour government to improve the rights of trans people.

Penny Mordaunt going from saying trans women are women to saying, ‘I’d never support self-ID.’ It feels like no matter what over the next two years at least, I’m just going to lose more rights,” she continued.

She then referenced issues like the exclusion of trans people from the conversion therapy ban, saying: “I know people who have been through conversion therapy and it’s horrible.

“I’m terrified of checking Twitter because trans people are always trending with people hating us. The question I really wanted to ask is – is a Labour government really going to be able to fix that?”

The Lancaster MP then immediately lambasted the debate surrounding transgender rights as “devastating” and “nasty”, imploring young people to refrain from debating on Twitter.

Angela Rayner talking on LBC

Angela Rayner talking on LBC (Image: Screenshot)

“We were the party of equal marriage, we were the party of the Equality Act, we got rid of Section 28 back when that was disastrous legislation against the LGBT community. We’ve got to make a stand now,” she said. “Using the trans debate at the moment and transgender women as some sort of political football to abuse and debate is absolutely appalling. I don’t think a vast majority of the public are on that side either.”

Rebecca also mentioned various Labour MPs are part of her uncertainty in voting for the party once the next election rolls around. Labour has had a huge divide on trans-inclusive policies for some time, with some reiterating that trans people should be included in the conversion therapy ban, and others celebrating the legal win of so-called “gender-critical” campaigner Maya Forstater.

Canterbury MP Rosie Duffield has often been a lightning rod of criticism in the Labour Party over her views on trans people, arguing against the inclusion of trans women in single-sex spaces such as prisons and hospital wards. Two former staffers quit her parliamentary office citing her views on trans people as the reason.

But Angela Rayner believes that Labour’s future is one where trans rights are seen as human rights across the board, noting several different policies that can be put in place to ensure LGBTQ+ equality.

“I think we can look at the Gender Recognition Act, we can look at self-identification that can protect the rights of people that want to transition, but also prevents the fears out there,” she said. “Transgender women’s rights are women’s rights… It is our women’s movement collectively that can have the solution to that and can work with each other.”

She then further criticised “some of the leadership candidates” for falling short on measures that would foresee equitable treatment for minorities while apologising to Rebecca for the hate she has received.

“I hope you genuinely feel that it is not what the majority of the British public feel. There is love out there for everybody and there is a way of being able to find a consensus on this issue. I absolutely believe that.”