Anti-feminist, right-wing Manchester mayoral candidate makes trans ‘joke’ as part of campaign 

Manchester mayoral candidate Nick Buckley

Right-wing mayoral candidate for Greater Manchester Nick Buckley has made a trans joke as part of his electoral campaign. 

Buckley claimed that he is trans, and asked to be elected in the city as its first female mayor.

On Sunday (15 October), Buckley took to X (formerly Twitter), and posted a bid for his election with the hashtag  #TransRightsAreHumanRights

It read: “We have never had a female mayor of Greater Manchester. Let me be the first.” 

Buckley is running as an independent candidate in the 2024 Manchester mayoral elections. He previously stood for Nigel Farage’s Reform UK party in 2021, placing fifth with a just a fraction of Labour Party winner Andy Burnham’s votes, and behind two female candidates.

Buckley’s bid to become Greater Manchester’s mayor is centred on his want to stop rough sleeping “within one year” and support “women: aka adult human female”, the term used by anti-trans campaigners to exclude trans women, according to a fundraiser for his campaign.

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Buckley’s social media is littered with anti-trans and anti-feminist comments. In July 2023, Buckley wrote on X/Twitter: “I keep telling people that ‘feminism’ is at the heart of the trans movement, but hardly anyone understands or wants to hear it.” 

His comment was in response to a doctor supporting trans people as “rejecting traditional harmful masculinity”.

A tweet posted by the Buckley in July 2022 attacked trans men by misgendering them. 

The post also claimed trans men “mutilate themselves” – an act he also blamed on feminism. 

He has also attacked the LGBTQ+ community in general. In August 2022, Buckley wrote: “Pride has reached the same position as feminism. They have all the same rights as everyone else, but that is not good enough for special people.” 

He has also openly supported Kellie-Jay Keen, also known as Posie Parker  – an anti-trans activist – who he said is “not a feminist but fighting to protect all real women,” the post added: “Be a Kelly, not a feminist.”

In September 2023, media regulators in New Zealand ruled that Parker could be described as an anti-trans activist and due to Parker’s campaigning against transgender people.

In August last year, Buckley also posted an image of inclusive Victoria’s Secret models and wrote: “And we wonder why women are extremely unhappy and on medication.

“Feminism has ripped away their natural goals and given them the ingredients to be depressed and unwanted.” 

Buckley’s anti-trans and anti-feminist stance follows the Home Office announcing that a sharp rise in hate crimes against trans people – up in England and Wales by 11 per cent to 4,732 recorded offences in 2022-2023 – could be fuelled by anti-trans comments by politicians.

Prime minister Rishi Sunak claimed it was “common sense” that a “man is a man and a woman is a woman” at the Conservative Party conference 4 October, while health secretary Steve Barclay said he would work towards a ban on trans women from female NHS wards and home secretary Suella Braverman wanted to forbid sex offenders from changing genders

In a comment given to PinkNews, Buckley denied any of his comments were “anti-trans” and claims to have discovered he was “part woman, maybe even all woman” while watching a movie.

Buckley claims to feel “solidarity with all my sisters fighting patriarchy” and states: “We do not set women free around the world until we all identify as women and share their pain.”

Despite making many attacks on trans people on social media, he added that he considers the term “anti-trans” to be “upsetting and disturbing”.