Rishi Sunak says misgendering trans people is ‘common sense’ in Tory Conference speech

Rishi Sunak speaking during the Tory Party Conference.

UK prime minister Rishi Sunak has shared his anti-trans views while speaking at the Conservative Party Conference.

The Conservative party leader told the predominantly right-wing crowd on Wednesday (4 October) that the British public are being “bullied” into believing that “people can be any sex they want to be.”

“A man is a man, and a woman is a woman, that’s just common sense,” he said to a round of applause from Tory MPs, conservative members, and others in the audience.

Sunak then continued, without a breath, to say he believed the Conservative Party had allowed “love” to “cascade down the generations” in a speech which also attacked relationship education in schools.

Conservative party members were seen enthusiastically applauding the prime minster’s words.

His comments have been widely reviled by members of the public, many of who said they “couldn’t believe it” after hearing him make the claim.

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Journalist and broadcaster, India Willoughby, described the comments as “terrifying” and felt particularly worried over the audience’s reaction.

“Outrageous hate, which is going to encourage bullying and physical attacks by thugs, utterly vile,” she said.

According to statistics from the Home Office, 2021 saw at least 2,630 reported hate crimes against transgender people in the UK. 88 per cent of trans people have said they do not report hate crimes out of fear.

Another user commented on the bewildering shift in his tone following the comments, saying: “Rishi Sunak erasing trans people and then immediately talking about how love matters.”

His speech also touched upon recently announced plans to ban trans women from female hospital wards, saying that patients “should know when hospitals are talking about men or women.”

A day prior, home secretary Suella Braverman backed the policy proposal, saying: “Trans women have no place in women’s wards or, indeed, any safe space relating to biological women.”

Rishi Sunak has a history of anti-trans rhetoric

This is not the first time that Sunak has attacked the trans and non-binary community, often using the subject as a joke for the entertainment of Conservative party members.

In June, Sunak was secretly filmed mocking trans people in a clip shared exclusively with PinkNews, joking about “women having penises” and making fun of Lib Dem leader Ed Davey for supporting trans rights.

Additionally, both he and Liz Truss denied that trans women are women during a Conservative leadership hustings in August 2022.

When asked by political pundit Julia Hartley-Brewer whether a trans woman is a woman, both candidates simply answered: “No.”

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