Tory MP likens trans acceptance to saying ‘two plus two equals five’

Tory MP Nick Fletcher has compared the acceptance of trans people by schools and businesses to telling children that “two plus two equals five”.

During a Westminster Hall debate on LGBTQ+ content in relationship education on Monday (18 March), MPs debated two opposing petitions on LGBTQ+ being included in sex and relationships education.

The first called for LGBTQ+ content to be removed from the syllabus and received nearly 250,000 signatures, whilst the second urged the government not to remove it, which received 104,000 signatures.

Speaking during the Westminster Hall debate, Conservative MP for Don Valley Nick Fletcher – who has a record of making controversial and bizarre comments about the trans community – centred his contributions on trans identities by comparing teaching about them to telling children “two plus two equals five”.

He said: “Would we be surprised if some – not all but some – children started to believe that two plus two equals five, especially when told by one of the main influences in their life, their teacher?

“We could put that together with many on social media also saying that two plus two equals five. Then, let us say, that people start wearing lanyards saying that two plus two equals five.

“Perhaps they do not really believe it, but they think it is a kind thing to do in order to make people who believe that two plus two equals five feel included.

“Then, let us say that the same people start putting two plus two equals five on their email footers for similar reasons.

Conservative MP Nick Fletcher discussing trans people in parliament
Conservative MP Nick Fletcher. (Twitter)

“That thought gets compounded further when perhaps an irresponsible broadcaster through one of their main soaps has a storyline where an adult tells a 12-year-old that it is okay to think two plus two equals five.

“Then, let us say, that private businesses start putting posters up, again saying that two plus two equals five, and that there are flags flying down the high street saying two plus two equals five.”

The MP continued: “Then, let us say, some people start to stand up and say, “No, it doesn’t. Two plus two equals four. Let’s tell the truth.”

“Let us say that those individuals are called bigots and are silenced by venomous individuals on social media. If that scenario took place, would we be surprised that we would have thousands of young children believing that two plus two equals five?

“That is exactly where we have got to through teaching gender identity in our schools. Should our children be exposed to material that states they can be a boy or a girl depending on how they feel? No, they should not.”

Fletcher was immediately questioned by Labour MP Stephen Doughty about the fact the debate is about LGBTQ+ inclusion in sex education, not simply trans identities, and was asked if “it just the T that the hon. Gentleman wants to remove, or does he want to remove all LGB content as well?”

“It is the T that I am discussing today,” Fletcher responded, “but I believe that the sexualisation of our children should stop within schools – all of it. I do not think there is any need for it, especially in primary schools. I genuinely do believe that there is absolutely no need for it.”