Labour urged to remove whip from Rosie Duffield over ‘transphobic views’
A number of Labour groups have said MP Rosie Duffield should have the whip removed after her “bigoted” comments about Eddie Izzard.
Duffield made headlines yet again for her regressive views on trans people while speaking at a conference for the anti-trans lobby group LGB Alliance.
The MP reportedly said she will not be “calling Eddie Izzard a woman” at the event, after the trans comedian launched her bid to become the Labour parliamentary candidate for Sheffield Central.
In response, several Labour groups have urged Keir Starmer to withdraw the whip from Duffield – meaning she would no longer sit as a Labour MP.
The National Labour Students Committee said Duffield’s “behaviour has gone beyond the pale”.
“Duffield has consistently gone out of her way to damage the trans community, including appearing at the conference of an anti-trans lobbying group,” it said. “We now have to do the hard work of rebuilding bridges with trans members and voters.”
Labour Students stands in full solidarity with the LGBT+ community.
Rosie Duffield must have the Labour whip removed.
A statement from the National Labour Students Committee: pic.twitter.com/09mxPFWeMu
— Labour Students (@LabourStudents) October 24, 2022
LGBT+ Labour has been calling for Duffield to have the whip withdrawn since 2021, when it also said she should be suspended from the party over an alleged “pattern of LGBT-phobic behaviour”.
Duffield has previously called trans women “male-bodied biological men”, aligned herself with gender-critical views and liked a tweet that referred to trans people as “heterosexuals cosplaying as the opposite sex”. She denies that she is transphobic.
In light of her comments on Eddie Izzard, LGBT+ Labour reiterated its view.
Our position on this has not changed. The Labour Party must be a safe place for all LGBTQ+ people especially our trans siblings ?️⚧️
The Labour Party must adopt a transphobia definition and a zero tolerance policy on transphobia https://t.co/IucxrQNxdP https://t.co/jYJnpoTbEf— LGBT+ Labour (@LGBTLabour) October 26, 2022
Young Labour Under 19s said Duffield has “repeatedly stated views that are transphobic and offensive” towards the LGBTQ+ community.
“Her recent comments regarding Eddie Izzard further demonstrate it. Therefore we support calls from LGBT Labour that she should lose the Labour Party whip.”
The group urged Labour to “do more to ensure the inclusion and safety of trans and LGBT+ members”. Members have previously said Labour has an institutional transphobia problem, and the party has been criticised for failing to adopt an official definition of transphobia it could use to reprimand those who discriminate.
Young Labour Under 19s continued: “[Labour] should work with LGBT+ members to adopt a definition of transphobia.
“It should ensure that under 18 members particularly are given support and guidance with issuing a complaint related to transphobia.”
Young Labour Under 19s stands in complete solidarity with the entire LGBT+ community.
Labour must remove the party whip from Rosie Duffield!
A statement from Young Labour U19s! ?️??️⚧️ pic.twitter.com/RFa29cuAi3— Young Labour U19s (@YoungLab_U19s) October 24, 2022
The University of Leicester Labour Society added Duffield’s “bigoted remarks” against Izzard are the “latest in a continuous pattern of transphobia and queerphobia from Duffield that has gone ignored by the party”.
It continued: “We once again call for the removal of the whip from Rosie Duffield, as well as substantive action for transphobia to be treated as seriously as other forms of bigotry in the party.”
Our statement on Duffield's recent comments against @EddieIzzardLab@LGBTLabour @leicLGBT @LGBwiththeT @lgbtstudentlab pic.twitter.com/sH86UoELwZ— University of Leicester Labour Society (@leiclabour_soc) October 24, 2022
Rosie Duffield has repeatedly denied being transphobic and branded previous backlash against her anti-trans comments in 2020 as a “tedious Communist pile-on”.
Two of her own staffers quit her office in 2020, citing the MP’s “overtly transphobic” views.
Her criticism of Eddie Izzard comes after she previously threatened to leave the party altogether if the Sheffield hopeful is selected on an all-women shortlist.
Izzard confirmed in that she has never asked or been offered a place on an all-women shortlist.
PinkNews has contacted the Labour Party and Rosie Duffield’s office for comment.
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