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Labour MP Rosie Duffield says party has a ‘woman problem’

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Rosie Duffield told how she has been left isolated after raising concerns about women’s safety in the row over trans rights.

The Canterbury MP has faced years of hostility over her calls for single-sex spaces to be protected.

She was shouted down by male colleagues during a heated Commons debate this week on the issue.

Ms Duffield said Labour leader Sir Keir has not contacted her since the row and likened membership of the party to being in an abusive relationship – something she has experienced.

She said: “It’s a cycle I’ve come to know well. First, speak up in defence of women’s sex-based rights. And then, face the consequences. Alone.

“Keir may dismiss this as a culture war issue, but for these women, it is most definitely not.”

Ms Duffield was forced to pull out of Labour’s party conference two years ago over threats to her security in the row over trans rights.

The latest incident came during a Commons debate after the Westminster government confirmed it will block Holyrood’s gender recognition reform bill because it clashes with UK-wide equality laws.

Ms Duffield said Labour’s leadership believes the transgender debate is “nothing more than a culture-war issue” and that ordinary people “don’t care about mixed-sex changing rooms or the prospect of men entering women’s refuges”.

“What this debate is really about, women are told, is bigotry and prejudice,” she wrote on the website Unherd.

“I know that is not the case.”

Ms Duffield said it is “starting to look like Labour has a women problem” for thousands of women in the party.

She added she is not the only MP in the party who thinks this but is the only one who “feels I have nothing to lose by speaking out”.

“Many of us know that self-identifying as a woman does not make a person a biological woman who shares our lived experience,” she added.

“But for obvious reasons, these views are not voiced outside of closed rooms or private and secret WhatsApp groups. 

“Even there, the most senior MPs often do not post a single word; they know exactly what’s at stake and not many of them want to be me. So for now, they mostly remain silent.”

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