Sorting by


Starmer defends record after JK Rowling says Labour ‘abandoned women’ | Politics News

Sir Keir Starmer has defended Labour’s record on gender equality after JK Rowling accused the party of “abandoning women”.

The Downing Street hopeful said he was “proud” of his party’s history on the subject after the Harry Potter author wrote a 2,000 word essay in The Times criticising his views.

Ms Rowling has been outspoken in her belief that biological women should be able to have separate spaces, which trans women – who were born male – should not be allowed access.

Election latest: Farage ‘playing into hands of Putin’, says Sunak

In the article, she said she would “struggle” to vote for Labour at the election, having donated to the party in the past, because of its “dismissive” stance on the issue and had a “poor opinion” of the party leader’s character.

Responding, Sir Keir said: “I’m really proud of the long history of the Labour Party in making real progress on women’s rights, passing landmark legislation that has changed millions of lives.

“Now that battle is never over and we need to make further progress, which we will hope to do if we earn the trust and confidence of the voters at the general election.”

More on General Election 2024

On transgender rights, he said a Labour government would seek a “reset” moment “to make sure that as we make progress we do it in a context that brings people together”.

In her article, Ms Rowling took umbrage with Sir Keir calling Labour candidate Rosie Duffield “wrong” after she said in 2021 that only women have a cervix.

At the time, he said her comments were “something that shouldn’t be said. It is not right.”

MP Rosie Duffield is now trying to raise the issue in parliament
The treatment of Rosie Duffield has angered Ms Rowling

Sir Keir was asked about this statement in a recent leaders debate, at which point he said he agreed with his predecessor Sir Tony Blair that women have vaginas and men have penises.

Ms Rowling said she felt the Labour leader gave “the impression that until Tony Blair sat him down for a chat, he’d never understood how he and his wife had come to produce children”.

Read more:
Troll who threatened to kill Rowling and Duffield avoids jail
Rowling accuses Starmer of ‘misrepresenting equalities law’
Starmer says 99.9% of women ‘haven’t got a penis’

She claimed Ms Duffield, who last week announced she has withdrawn from hustings events as she does not feel safe, has received “literally no support from Starmer over the threats and abuse, some of which has originated from within the Labour Party itself”.

Follow Sky News on WhatsApp
Follow Sky News on WhatsApp

Keep up with all the latest news from the UK and around the world by following Sky News

Tap here

And she claimed that Sir Keir had given the impression Ms Duffield had taken a hard line “even though almost identical words had sounded perfectly reasonable when spoken by Tony Blair”.

She said: “As long as Labour remains dismissive and often offensive towards women fighting to retain the rights their foremothers thought were won for all time, I’ll struggle to support them.

“The women who wouldn’t wheesht (be quiet) didn’t leave Labour. Labour abandoned them.”

Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button