Anti-trans Labour MP Rosie Duffield told to spend less time with JK Rowling

Anti-trans Harry Potter author JK Rowling side-by-side with Labour MP Rosie Duffield against a red backdrop with Westminster in the background

Labour MP Rosie Duffield has come under fire from a senior aide to party leader Keir Starmer, claiming that constituents in Canterbury have said it “would be nice” if the MP spent more time with the voters she was elected by.

Duffield was elected to represent Canterbury in 2017, making her the first non-Conservative MP to represent the constituency in 160 years.

Far-right blog Guido Fawkes identified the person calling for Duffield to be more present as Labour’s executive director of communications Matthew Doyle. Describing her actions as “irritating” Doyle went on to slate the MP for spending too much time with JK Rowling – known these days for her views on trans people.

In the leaked recording, Doyle can be heard saying: “Fundamentally, is it irritating? Yes. Does it do us any actual damage? No. So therefore it will just be a, you know, Rosie is Rosie sort of thing.

“She’s been in to see Keir a number of times, but she also then does incredibly sort of disingenuous things,” he continued. “There are people in Canterbury who say, you know, it would be nice if it’s possible to spend a bit more time actually in Canterbury rather than hanging out with JK Rowling.”

There is merit to Doyle’s claims, with KentOnline running an article last year in February urging Duffield to address “legitimate scrutiny” after continuously being denied any sort of interview with her. The publication reiterated that an elected public servant, paid by the public, needed to take proper accountability.

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The MP has lent her voice to anti-trans rhetoric time and time again on a national level. Duffield stood in the House of Commons on 19 January and falsely claimed that reforms of Scotland’s gender laws would “allow anyone at all to legally self-identify as either sex” and enter women’s changing rooms, domestic violence refuges and other spaces.

This is not the case. The reforms would’ve made it easier for a trans person to gain legal recognition of their gender by simplifying the process for acquiring a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC) – that’s it. The bill has since been blocked from gaining royal assent by the UK government.

Legally recognising an individual’s gender identity does not affect their ability to access single-sex spaces – there are no scanners for GRCs in public bathrooms and a person does not need to show their birth certificate to enter a changing room.

Rosie Duffield lunches with JK Rowling and other anti-trans activists

Rosie Duffield, who has made false claims that trans children in the UK are “cutting body parts off and rendering themselves completely infertile”, infamously attended a boozy lunch with JK Rowling alongside lobby group Get the L Out, anti-trans MP Joanna Cherry and so-called gender critical journalist Suzanne Moore.

Get the L Out describes gender-affirming healthcare as “a form of misogynist medical abuse against lesbians” which “promotes the medical transition of lesbians and pushes harmful drugs and unnecessary medical practices on lesbians’ healthy bodies”.

The lunch took place on 10 April 2020 – the same day that thousands of trans people and their allies gathered outside Downing Street to protest then-prime minister Boris Johnson and his plan to remove trans conversion therapy from a potential ban of the barbaric practice.

Politicians from both Labour and the SNP have stated publicly they have no support towards Duffield’s “misinformed” views on trans rights.

The Labour MP wrote in a piece for UnHerd on 20 January that she was “proud” to be part of the TERF “gang”.

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