Labour candidate apologises for transphobia – then announces she is ‘gender critical’

Keir Starmer Labour Party

A Labour by-election candidate who was suspended over allegations of transphobia has been reinstated by the party after just three days, and has changed her social media bio to describe herself as “gender critical”.

Laura Pascal was all set to stand for Keir Starmer’s party in Hackney’s Cazenove ward by-election on Thursday (18 January). However, following allegations of transphobic social media use, she was “administratively suspended”, campaigning ceased and a Labour spokesperson said if Pascal won, she would have to sit as an independent councillor. 

Reporting by On London suggested multiple complaints have been made against Pascal by other Labour members after screenshots of Pascal’s activity on X/Twitter were widely shared on social media. 

This social media activity in question included liking a post which likened trans women’s existence to Blackface, and a post by Pascal that states: “Trans women are not female. By definition they are male.”

Just three days after the suspension was confirmed, on Wednesday evening (17 January), Labour said Pascal had been reinstated following an investigation. 

In a statement shared with the Evening Standard, Pascal apologised, saying: “I offer a heartfelt apology to the people of Cazenove ward, Hackney and anyone who has been offended by my social media activity, which fell well below the standard expected of someone seeking election to public office.

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“It was a mistake to like some tweets that caused offence and a great deal of hurt.

“Ultimately, the people of Cazenove ward will make their own judgements on Thursday, but I hope they can find some reassurance in the fact that I have reflected deeply on my past social media activity and offer this apology unreservedly.”

Despite the apology, Pascal wrote on X/Twitter on Wednesday that she was pleased to be “able to update my Twitter profile” and subsequently changed her bio to read: “Feminist and unapologetic for my gender critical views.”

Speaking to the Standard, a source labelled Pascal’s suspension “ridiculous” and said she is a “feminist and certainly not a racist”.

Labour MP Rosie Duffield, who has also courted controversy for her views on sex and gender, threw her support behind Pascal.

PinkNews has approached Hackney Labour for comment.

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