JEREMY Corbyn has faced a backlash after a policy on ‘Self-Identifying Trans Women’ came to light.
Corbyn is on a ‘collision course’ with female activists in the Labour Party over a decision to make self-identifying trans women eligible for all-women shortlists.
Huff Post UK reported that “There is a groundswell of anger over the policy switch, with some members bidding to secure a last-minute motion to add the issue to the official agenda at next month’s Labour conference in Liverpool.”
The party confirmed in May that self-identifying trans women would be eligible for all-women shortlists and women’s officer roles without needing to show medical certificate proving they have changed gender.
Amy Brookes, a councillor in Rotherham who has put forward a motion at the party’s separate women’s conference, said: “Labour has quietly changed the definition of ‘woman’ without consulting women – the sex that is going to lose out.”
If passed, the motion could be chosen for debate in the main conference, but backers fear the party wants to avoid controversy.
Brooks and others fear that allowing trans women to self-declare gender could see men abuse the rule to gain access to women-only spaces, such as changing rooms, and may distort sex-related data on issues such as pay.
Women’s Place UK, an independent campaign group, has also organised a meeting in Liverpool to coincide with the conference to “give voice to the considerable concern within the Labour movement”.
Rother Valley Constituency Labour Party (CLP), of which Brookes is a member, has penned a motion which states that the separate women’s conference should oppose self-identification and lobby the party to follow suit “because of the implications [self-ID] will have for women in terms of safety, dignity, privacy, participation in public life, and political representation”.
Trans activist Lily Madigan, Rochester and Strood CLP’s women’s officer, hit back at those backing the motion and said opponents to self-ID were “very much on their own” and that Labour had simply formalised its long-standing support for trans women to self-ID.