Trans mother singled out by Rosie Duffield after ITV News interview ‘subjected to abuse’

Roșie Duffield in her official parliamentary photo. The MP stands wearing a red blazer and grey blouse against a grey background.

A trans mother has been “subjected to anti-trans abuse” online after she appeared in an ITV News piece that was subsequently criticised by ‘gender-critical’ Labour MP Rosie Duffield.

On Wednesday (28 June), ITV ran a segment during its News At Ten programme exploring the impact of soaring water bills in light of the potential collapse of Thames Water. 

Privatised Thames Water is the largest water and sewerage company in the UK, serving more than 15 million people, and is now deep in debt after decades of underinvestment and huge shareholder dividends. It is now in talks to secure funding and may be taken over by the government. 

As part of the segment, ITV spoke to Mika Minio-Pauello, a trans woman and mother who raised issues around the cost-of-living crisis and how difficult it is to pay bills as a parent in the current economic climate. 

Rosie Duffield, the Labour MP for Canterbury who is known for her so-called ‘gender-critical’ views, took offence to ITV speaking to a trans mother. 

Duffield tweeted on Thursday (29 June): “Dear @itvnews, I am sure this is a lovely, intelligent and decent human being. This was an important piece. This is not however a struggling ‘mother’.”

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(Twitter/RosieDuffield1/Screenshot by PinkNews)

Duffield doubled-down in the replies, writing: “Biological men cannot carry a baby or give birth Chris, therefore this is not a mother. Yes, I know, some women cannot do this either. And yes, those who adopt, etc are still mothers … ”

Minio-Pauello is the Trades Union Congress’ (TUC) climate and industry lead. On Thursday, the TUC shared that Minio-Pauello had been “subjected to anti-trans abuse online, because she is a mother”. 

The TUC went on to say: “This is unacceptable. Everyone should be safe and respected at work.

“The TUC calls on everyone who shares our trade union values to reject transphobia and stand up for the right to safety, dignity and respect. LGBT+ rights are workers’ rights.”

The TUC’s tweet calling for respect for trans people has been flooded with transphobic replies.

While the TUC did not place blame at Duffield’s feet, her comments have been widely criticised and she has been accused of fuelling a “pile-on”.

Journalist Owen Jones, who said the backlash against Minio-Pauello was “whipped up” by Duffield. He slammed Labour leader Keir Starmer as a “disgrace” for his inaction on the issue.

This comes as Starmer and shadow women’s and equalities secretary Anneliese Dodds met with LGBTQ+ business leaders on Thursday (30 June), where the opposition leader said that more inclusive workplaces and business practices will be a “core tenet” of Labour’s economic recovery plan.

Trans broadcaster India Willoughby also highlighted this juxtaposition, tweeting: “What a joke. On the very day Rosie Duffield says women who are trans can’t be mothers – referring to a mum who’s trans as ‘this’ – @Keir_Starmer promises to make workplaces more LGBT+ inclusive. Appalling.”

Duffield has a long history of making anti-trans remarks. She has been criticised for calling trans women “male bodied”, slamming inclusive language used for cervical screening tests and saying she would “rather be arrested” than call Suzy Eddie Izzard a woman while speaking at a conference for anti-trans campaign group the LGB Alliance.

In April, Duffield even teamed up with evangelical Christian Tory MP Miriam Cates in a concerning anti-trans alliance to ensure “women’s rights are protected at all costs”.

However, Duffield has consistently claimed that she supports LGBTQ+ rights.

PinkNews has contacted Rosie Duffield and the Labour Party for comment.