Michael Cashman loses Labour whip over Rosie Duffield comment

Lord Michael Cashman.

Lord Michael Cashman, one of the founders of Stonewall, has had the Labour whip removed after saying that MP Rosie Duffield was too ‘frit or lazy’ to attend a recent hustings.

Cashman, who has been a Labour legislator since 1999, and became a peer in 2014, has apologised for writing, in a now-deleted post, that Duffield was too frightened or lazy to attend a campaign event.

His comment came after Duffield, who has become a divisive figure in the Labour party due to her views on trans issues, issued a statement last Friday (14 June) saying the she would not attend a hustings event because “constant trolling” had affected her “sense of security and wellbeing”.

Taking to X/Twitter on Sunday (16 June), Cashman wrote: “I apologise unreservedly for a post that I put out regarding the Labour candidate for Canterbury. I fully understand any complaints that will be sent to the Labour party.” 

Labour MP Rosie Duffield
Rosie Duffield has face criticism for her views on trans issues. (GOV)

Having the whip withdrawn or suspended means a party representative is kicked out of their party within parliament, meaning they must sit as an independent.

Labour MP Duffield has been at the centre of controversy in recent years due to her comments about the trans community.

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Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting told Times Radio that he strongly disagreed with Cashman’s comment. 

He said of Cashman’s comment: “That is extremely unfair and I was very concerned Rosie’s not able to participate in hustings and is having to change the way she behaves because of abuse.” 

Lord Cashman has previously described the “hatred” that was hurled at him in the 1980s when he played a gay character, Colin Russell, on EastEnders and explained that LGBTQ+ people who attack trans right have “learned nothing” from the AIDS crisis. 

Labour is yet to issue a public statement, but PinkNews has contacted Labour for comment. 

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