Contenders for next British Prime Minister inevitably wade into trans rights debate

Contenders for next British Prime Minister inevitably wade into trans rights debate
Tory premiership candidates (L-R) Grant Shapps, Penny Mordaunt and Tom Tugendhat
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Since the governing Conservative Party in British politics decided they were finally sick of Boris Johnson last week, there are already ELEVEN MPs who have thrown their hats in the ring to take over. 


In a very exciting last week in Westminster, over 50 of Boris Johnson’s MPs resigned from his government in protest at what they saw was even MORE lies and corruption as he was forced to go on TV to apologise (AGAIN) for hiring Chris Pincher after he knew that the MP had been accused of groping a man at a party.


Boris’s office at Number 10 had previously said that he didn’t know anything about it and they even sent out junior minister to lie about it on TV. It was a step too far for the Conservatives, bar a few stragglers still drinking his now rather rotten Kool-Aid (we’re looking at you Nadine Dorries).


After looking like he was going to cling on for dear life, in the end Boris did what Trump would never do, he resigned. The fact that the Conservative Party have ousted Johnson for what amounts to a HELL of a lot less than what Trump has been accused of, Republicans should really take notice of what an actual functioning (barely) political party looks like than isn’t in the thrall of a despotic autocrat.


In the wake of Johnson’s resignation, as things stand today there has been eleven MPs who have decided to run for the top job, leader of the Tories and therefore Prime Minister. It is an eclectic bunch that we won’t list here as it would be far too boring but seeing as trans rights are STILL so high on the media’s agenda, some of the contenders have already been dragged into the debate, for good or for ill. 


First up is Penny Mordaunt, who said quite clearly last year that ‘trans men are men and trans women are women’. See below:



‘All hail Penny, our new PM!’ I hear you cry. Well, hold on to your hats for now as she seems to have partly walked back this statement. Or has she? In a lengthy stream of tweets, Mordaunt attempts to ‘clarify’ her stance on trans rights and self-identification which has got some people saying she’s turned her back on the queer community and those on the other side saying it’s not nearly enough. See below:

In classic the politician way, she has managed to say quite a lot without saying much at all. Mordant tries to cover a lot of ground here, dipping into trans athletes in sport and women’s rights but she doesn’t actually go back on what she said about trans women being women etc as she touches on the whole legal aspect.


Trans women have been legally women in the UK for quite a while now so it still boggles the mind that only now do people seem to suddenly want to shriek about women only spaces when nothing has changed legally and there have next to no cases where there has been any friction on this front. It’s only the rhetoric that has become toxic, certainly not trans people who have simply trying to go about their lives with dignity and respect. 


Meanwhile, whereas Morduant clearly felt like she needed to ‘explain herself’ a little more and basically just  skirted the political middle ground when it come to trans rights, two other candidates (so far) were either far more clueless or much better equipped to pivot when it came to the crunch. Here’s current Transport Minister and erstwhile pretender to the political throne, Grant Shapps. 


In a similar vein, backbencher Tom Tugendhat (who has also thrown his errr hat into he ring) said this when asked if trans men were men and trans women were women: “It is one of those debates that demonstrates why we need to move on because it’s really easy to make division where we need unity. We must never take away what it means to be a biological woman, but we must respect people who are in a different gender identity.”


We can kinda jam with that and unlike Penny’s flip flopping and Grant’s slipping away from the question, it’s clear that this isn’t something that’s going away and the media obsession with trans rights or lack there of will continue throughout this extensive section process.


No-one has outright been either one way or the other (plus ça change) but that’s good in a way as that means none of them are the sort of monstrous transphobe that you get in the US right now who literally go out for their way to diminish, dehumanise and endanger trans people. The search for the new Prime Minister of the UK continues…


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