Tory MP ‘devastated’ by Rishi Sunak’s anti-trans comments at party conference

Dehenna Davison during an interview with PoliticsJOE.

A Conservative MP has described Rishi Sunak’s anti-trans commentary as “absolutely disgusting” in an interview following this year’s Tory Party Conference.

Sunak used his closing speech at the conference on Wednesday (4 October) to again demonise trans people by claiming that Britons are being “bullied” into believing that “people can be any sex they want to be”.

“A man is a man and a woman is woman,” the prime minister said. “That’s just common sense.”

Bishop Auckland MP Dehenna Davison has now hit back at Rishi Sunak, saying in an interview with PoliticsJOE that “there’s no other way to put it” than “absolutely disgusting”.

“I’d say that to their faces if we were discussing it in person,” Davison said.

“The entire LGBT community has faced a really difficult history and so much adversity over the years. In some ways, I feel really lucky that I had a really positive reception to coming out when if you went back 20 years, others wouldn’t have.”

You may like to watch

The Tory MP added that she believes both the UK and the government have “a long way to go” towards accepting LGBTQ+ people – particularly the trans community.

Davison said she was “devastated” by the vitriol towards trans and non-binary people from her fellow MPs and the government more broadly.

“I think one of the problems there is that these debates around single-sex spaces, about trans participation in sport, get so inflamed, by both sides I have to say,” she continued.

“People on each side are really passionate, but then you miss all of the people in the middle who want to take a really sensible approach.”

Sunak has ‘legitimised harassment’ of trans people

Rishi Sunak’s statement was widely condemned as “sickening” and “ridiculous”, with LGBTQ+ groups criticising the PM’s blatant disregard for the trans community’s safety and dignity.

UK charity Mermaids wrote in a statement that Rishi Sunak had made the comments to “distract from the real social, economic and environmental issues faced by everyone in the UK”.

“Nothing that has been said is a change to the law, or to the rights of our community,” Mermaids said. “But these statements further legitimise the harassment which many trans young people and their families experience every day in the media, at home, at work, school and online.”

Polling from YouGov following Rishi Sunak’s comments showed that a majority of the UK public believe trans and non-binary people are valid in their identities, but feel less supportive when it comes to specific legal rights to identify as their accurate gender.

Fifty-five per cent of Britons reportedly believe people should be able to identify as being of a different gender to their gender at birth, while 40 per cent think the law should allow them to do so.

Davison echoed the idea that most people in the UK “want people to be free to live and love however they like” as long as, she said, it is not “negatively impacting them in their lives”.

“I think that’s actually most people of this country,” she continued. “We are such a brilliantly tolerant country.

“But on the trans debate, we just need to be sensible. We need to take the heat out of that debate in parliament and across society.”