Paloma Faith slams Rishi Sunak’s ‘inflammatory’ remarks about trans people: ‘He should be ashamed’

On the left, Paloma Faith. On the right, Rishi Sunak at the Conservative Party Conference.

Pop singer Paloma Faith has condemned British prime minister Rishi Sunak for his “inflammatory” remarks about trans people at the recent Conservative party conference.

Addressing a crowd of cheering and clapping Tory MPs at the conference earlier this month (4 October), Sunak stated that it is “common sense” know that “a man is a man, and a woman is a woman”.

Sunak claimed the British public are being “bullied” into believing that “people can be any sex they want to be”.

In a new interview with The Independent, “Upside Down” singer Paloma Faith, 42, tore the prime minister’s “irresponsible” comments apart.

“I’ve spoken about how I feel responsible in my position to set a good example, and Rishi Sunak is so irresponsible,” she declared.

“Whatever his opinions are, which I do not agree with categorically, but if he’s got those opinions, [voicing them like that] is irresponsible and inflammatory… He should be ashamed of himself. I think a person who does what he did is not a leader.”

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Reinforcing her view, Faith shared a story about one of her stylists, who is a trans woman, being late for a fitting. 

“There was no discussion as to whether she missed the bus or slept in; we all were worried she had been attacked because that’s what we’re dealing with right now,” she explained.

Rishi Sunak at Conservative Party conference
Recent anti-LGBTQ+ comments from politicians could be fuelling homophobic and transphobic attacks.(Getty Images)

According to figures released earlier this month by the British government, transphobic hate crimes in the country have risen by 11 per cent in the last year, to 4,732 reported offences in 2022-2023.

In the briefing that accompanied the figures, the Home Office suggested that anti-trans rhetoric by politicians such as Rishi Sunak contributed to the rise in hate crimes.

The Home Office said that trans issues have been “heavily discussed by politicians, the media and on social media” over the course of the last year, which it suggested “may have led to an increase in these offences”.

Faith has always been seen as a staunch trans ally: in 2020, she led a chorus of feminist voices condemning violence against trans woman as part of an open letter.

That same year, Faith addressed hysteria around claims that she was raising her child as gender-neutral, clarifying that she didn’t want to reveal their gender as a means to protect their privacy.

While she has since confirmed that she has two daughters, she has shot down the furore over the idea that she was raising her children as gender-neutral, telling The Independent that “one of [her] kids might still end up being trans”.

As such, she doesn’t believe her children should engage in gendered play.

“I have one daughter who loves painting her nails and wearing pink and fairy wings, and I’ve got one who finds that all disgusting,” she shared. 

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