Tory MP Liam Fox’s anti-trans newsletter sparks constituent fury: ‘Why does he need to vilify us?’

North Somerset MP Liam Fox walks down a busy street.

People in North Somerset have voiced their outrage after Conservative MP Liam Fox sent his constituents a newsletter packed with anti-trans dog-whistles.

The former international trade secretary shared an article he had written for The Telegraph in an emailed newsletter on Sunday (2 July), in which he boasted that it had the most coverage on social media of any article he had written.

In the article, Fox, who has also been the defence secretary, routinely cited transphobic dog-whistles, including the question “what is a woman?”, a phrase that has been used by Conservatives including PM Rishi Sunak, who recently used it in the House of Commons to attack Labour leader Keir Starmer.

“The way in which extremists in the trans movement have sought to close down debate, including on safe spaces for women, is nothing less than an attempt at brutal censorship, worthy of the most repressive regimes,” Fox wrote.

His words have been met with condemnation from LGBTQ+ constituents across North Somerset, who described his article as “utter claptrap”.

One local trans woman, Nicola, told PinkNews she was shocked when the newsletter appeared in her inbox, adding: “Why does he feel the need to vilify us? We are just members of society like everyone else.

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“Yes, we are a minority, but why should that make a difference? He should be standing up for minorities, not seeking to undermine them.”

‘Hate-filled diversionary tactics’

Several anonymous comments from members of a North Somerset trans group, which Nicola runs, echoed those comments, decrying the article as “such hypocrisy.”

One person wrote: “He also moans about free speech and truth being oppressed, yet in the same letter he tries to oppress trans views and rights.”

Another said: “I just knew that this MP would be a Tory. They will always turn to hatred when they realise that people are starting to see through their façade.

“Tory MPs think their supporters dislike trans people without actually asking them – most are not bothered about us.”

Others signalled that Fox was using the so-called culture war to “divert attention from failed policies” and was indicative of the UK government as a whole.

“We will be the subject of their hate-filled diversionary tactics and we can only do our best to answer their accusations with reason and facts,” another constituent said. “He mentions safeguarding when talking about teachers outing trans children to their parents, well, safeguarding is surely needed if those parents are not accepting.”

Another said they had written to their MP regarding changes to the 2010 Equality Act recommended to equalities minister Kemi Badenoch, and were dismayed by the response.

“I now have his reply, which sings the praises of the government’s history of support for the LGBTQ+ community,” they said.

“I intend to point out that in 2015 this country was considered to be the leader in the progressive consideration of LGBTQ+ issues. According to ILGA-Europe, we are now 17th on the list [of LGBTQ+-friendly nations in Europe].”

PinkNews has contacted Liam Fox for comment.