Tory MP’s anti-trans ‘man in a wig’ comments recorded as hate incident by police

The Conservative Party’s deputy chair has had a hate incident recorded against her by police after she endorsed a post publicly misgendering a trans political opponent.  

Earlier this month, Redditch MP Rachel Maclean came under fire after she shared a post describing her Green party political opponent Melissa Poulton – who is trans – as a “man in a wig”. 

The post describes Poulton as “a man who wears a wig and calls himself a ‘proud lesbian’”, to which the Tory MP replied: “While the Greens don’t know what a woman is, my Worcestershire neighbours, the people of Bromsgrove certainly do.” 

At the time, Poulton described Maclean’s words as “dog-whistling” and “gaslighting” and said “without a shadow of a doubt, it is a transphobic comment.” 

Green Party co-leader Carla Denyer also labelled the comments as “deeply offensive”. 

Taking to X/Twitter on Monday (18 December) the Tory MP said West Mercia Police has recorded a non crime hate incident against her over the comments. 

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She wrote she is “challenging” the decision. 

“Originally NCHIs were introduced in wake of Stephen Lawrence case and were used as intelligence gathering tools. It seems wrong and ridiculous to use the same tool to record that a woman said a man cannot be a woman or a lesbian,” she said. 

“They have been widened since to cover any protected characteristic. It stretches credibility to believe that gender-critical women are in the same category as racist murderers when it comes to police data.”

Speaking with right-wing publication spiked about the situation, Maclean bizarrely said she supports trans rights and ironically believes that “we must treat each other with respect in politics”.

“I didn’t say anything specifically about the Green Party candidate in question. However, I did retweet somebody else’s comment, which I thought was perfectly legitimate within the bounds of normal political discourse on a social-media platform,” she said. 

Maclean went on to add “it shouldn’t be controversial to differentiate between a transwoman and biological woman”. 

She doubled down on view, saying: “What I said was not transphobic at all. It’s not hateful. It’s not nasty. And it is, in fact, my right – protected by the free-speech laws in this country – to say that there is a difference between a transgender woman and a biological woman. And that a transgender woman cannot be a lesbian. 

“Somebody has to stand up and say it. I don’t mind if I get attacked. But it’s really difficult for ordinary teachers in a school, for example, or nurses on a hospital ward to do the same. I’ve heard testimony from lots of these people proving as much. So it is important that people know that they can speak out.”