Rishi Sunak insists his comments on trans issues aren’t ‘controversial’

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stepping out of 10 Downing Street

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has claimed that his comments on trans issues are not “controversial”, insisting once again that “biological sex is important”. 

During GB News’ People’s Forum on Monday (12 February), where members of the public questioned the PM on government policy – from environmental issues to Brexit and the NHS – one audience member asked why LGBTQ+ people should vote Conservative.

The Tories’ record on LGBTQ+ rights over the past few years was good, Sunak replied.

“If you look at our record, it’s one I hope you, and everyone else, are proud of”, Sunak said. Same-sex marriage was legalised under the Tories, and “provision of healthcare services for same-sex couples” had been improved, he pointed out. 

While it’s important to be “tolerant and compassionate” towards trans people, “biological sex is also important”, he added. 

“I don’t think that should be a controversial thing. I think that is a relatively common-sense view that is held by the vast majority of people.”

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The “debate” on trans issues has become “incredibly charged and polarised”, and people should be “respectful and tolerant of people and their differences”, he went on to say. 

“Do we think biological sex is important when we’re thinking about women’s safety and health? Of course. I think most people would think that.

“These things are important when we’re considering our children, which is why we’ve recently published guidance for schools about how to deal with these issues in classrooms.”

Rishi Sunak has been criticised by the LGBTQ+ community for his comments on trans people before, often repeating the claim that “a man is a man and a woman is a woman”. 

He has eve been called out by members of his own party for his anti-trans jibes, with one Tory saying last October that she was “devastated” his comments that Britons are being “bullied” into believing “people can be any sex they want to be”. 

Bisexual MP Dehenna Davison said “there’s no other way to [describe] it” than “absolutely disgusting”, adding: “The entire LGBT community has faced a really difficult history and so much adversity over the years.”

Sunak was also criticised for making anti-trans comments during Prime Minister’s Questions last week while the mother of murdered transgender teen Brianna Ghey was in the House of Commons. 

Sunak has consistently refused to apologise for the remark, despite being urged to do so by Brianna’s father, and insists that he was pointing out Labour Party failures.

Speaking to Sky News, the PM said: “Like everyone, I was completely shocked by Brianna’s case. But to use that tragedy to detract from the very separate and clear point I was making about Keir Starmer’s proven track record of multiple U-turns on major policies because he doesn’t have a plan, I think is both sad and wrong.”

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