Rosie Duffield says she’ll leave Labour if Eddie Izzard stands as MP on all-women shortlist
MP Rosie Duffield has allegedly threatened to leave the Labour Party if comedian Eddie Izzard is selected to stand in the next general election on an all-women shortlist.
Speaking during a Labour Women’s Declaration (LWD) discussion group at the Labour Conference on Monday (26 September), Duffield allegedly told attendees that she did not believe Izzard was a woman.
“I won’t lie. I won’t say a man is a woman. Eddie Izzard is not a woman,” the Canterbury MP said, according to attending NHS campaigner Marie-Louise Irvine.
Attendees also claimed that she threatened to leave the Labour Party if the stand-up comedian, who has considered becoming a member of parliament on several occasions, was selected for an all-woman shortlist.
— shelley charlesworth (@charlesworth102) September 26, 2022
This is despite the Labour Party announcing in March that it was discontinuing all-women shortlists in the next general election, according to HuffPost UK.
The decision was made after legal advice given to the party warned that continuing to use them for Westminster seats would be “unlawful” due to the number of female MPs currently in Labour.
This means that, if the party were to continue using all-women shortlists for future general elections, it could put it in breach of the 2010 Equality Act.
“Labour has a proud record of increasing women’s participation in politics,” party chair Anneliese Dodds said in a statement at the time. “That is why there are now 104 women Labour MPs at Westminster – over half of the parliamentary Labour Party.
“The Labour Party is committed to continuing to use positive action, including all-women shortlists, in all situations where it is able to do so.”
This didn’t stop so-called “gender-critical” pundits from applauding Rosie Duffield’s alleged declaration, with some saying that she was “standing up to her own political party” for daring to consider a genderfluid candidate.
Eddie Izzard is not a woman, and Eddie does not belong on a woman's shortlist. It is time that those female MP's with large majorities speak up.
But Duffield said during the conference that she’s not questioning her position in the party, claiming that “things are going in the right direction”.
“I’ve had to deal with a lot of abuse because I’m speaking out for women’s rights,” she said. “So, those things have made me question what I’m doing in this party, I have to be honest, but those things do seem to be getting better.”
The MP chose not to attend 2021’s conference after she claimed she felt “unsafe” due to alleged online threats and hostility.
Speaking to GB News, she said: “I really didn’t want a fuss, I wanted to quietly not come to conference. I had quite a few threats and a few people saying they were going to be hostile and aggressive and I thought the best thing would be to stay under the radar.”
She then compared the LWD meeting to the mass protests in Iran fighting for women’s rights after Iranian woman Mahsa Amini died in custody after being detained by the morality police because her headscarf was too loose.
“We can’t stop [these meetings], we can’t do that, and if you look at the women in Iran, you know, they’ve got it a lot worse – they’ve got the state actually threatening them so we can deal with a few people that are reality hostile.”
Eddie Izzard hopes Sheffield constituency will elect her
Izzard once again expressed her political desire to run as a Labour MP candidate in August 2022.
During an episode of My Seven Wonders with Clive Anderson, she said that she “will try very hard to get there” and is “very serious about it”.
The comic is looking to gain a seat in the Sheffield Central constituency after Paul Blomfield steps down next year, saying: “It’s quite a dream of a seat and I imagine lots of people will put their name forward.”
PinkNews has contacted Rosie Duffield for comment.
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