Tory chair Greg Hands claims ‘lefty councils’ will ‘erode single-sex spaces’

Greg Hands

The chairman of the Conservative Party, Greg Hands, has told voters that if they vote for Labour in the local elections, “lefty” councils will put “single-sex spaces at risk”.

He was speaking to the Daily Express, a right-wing newspaper on a “crusade to protect women’s rights” from “trans-extremism”, ahead of the local elections on Thursday (4 May).

Hands claimed that voting for a “lefty”-run Labour council would “erode” women’s rights and put protections, such as single-sex spaces, at risk.

“A lefty council is more likely to erode that sort of safe single space culture that I think is so important for women across the country. So, I think it is an issue.”

He continued: “You can rely on Conservative councils to listen to people better, deliver on local people’s priorities rather than actually say some kind of politically correct ideology.”

During campaigning, the Conservatives have been vocal about their commitment to “protect” single-sex spaces and prime minister Rishi Sunak has publically backed the Express’ campaign against “trans-extremism”.

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Rishi Sunak leaving Number 10, smiling.
Rishi Sunak has backed a campaign against so-called trans extremism. (Getty)

In a letter published by the paper, he wrote: “When it comes to women’s spaces, women’s prisons, changing rooms, sports, health, I believe that biological sex really matters.

“I know what a woman is – and I’ll protect women’s rights and women’s spaces. That’s why I am supporting the Express’ campaign.”

Despite Sunak’s endorsement of the campaign, and his anti-trans rhetoric, not all Tory party members agree with the stance.

Caroline Nokes hit back, saying she believes the “toxicity” of debates on the topic will see Tories lose the next general election.

“I know as well as any other colleague that general elections are won and lost on the economy, on how you deliver public services,” said the MP for Romsey and Southampton North.

“Culture wars, when it comes to determining how people vote in any given election, are so far down the average voter’s political radar that I don’t know why we’re seeking to stoke division and hatred.”