Senior Tory eviscerates Kemi Badenoch’s ‘Putinesque’ anti-trans policy

'It appears that Kemi Badenoch wants to change our Party from one that promotes and extends individual liberties into a hate filled sect that wants to remove them'

Rishi Sunak sitting with Kemi Badenoch

Writing in today’s Times, the Women and Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch set out the latest Tory policy commitment for the election. Badenoch said that the Tories intend to change the law to allow organisations to restrict single sex spaces on the grounds of ‘biological sex’. The Tories are planning to amend the Equality Act so that sex is defined as what an individual was assigned at birth.

In practice, what this means is that organisations would be permitted to prevent trans people from accessing certain services or spaces if they do not match the sex they were assigned at birth. This would allow, for example, trans women to be excluded from political parties’ all-women’s shortlists or trans women to be stopped from being able to access women’s wards in hospitals. It could also see organisations trying to prevent trans people from accessing toilet facilities that match their gender.

Last year, the Equality and Human Rights Commission confirmed that any change such as this would make it possible for trans people to be excluded from single-sex spaces even if they have a gender recognition certificate and the state has legally recognised their gender.

The announcement has faced heavy criticism from politicians and campaigners. The former Labour MP Ben Bradshaw accused Badenoch of engaging in a ‘nasty little transphobic crusade’. Green Party London Assembly member Zoe Garbett described the policy as ‘transphobic to its core’. And the Director of the Good Law Project Jolyon Maugham said the Conservative Party “smears trans people as a danger to women”.

Among the most savage criticism, though, came from within the Tory party itself. Andrew Boff, the Conservative chair of the London Assembly slammed the policy and Badenoch’s approach to equalities.

“It appears that @KemiBadenoch wants to change our Party from one that promotes and extends individual liberties into a hate filled sect that wants to remove them”, he tweeted after the story broke in the Times.

He continued: “If, even once, she had met with @LGBTCons rather than swanning around with genitally obsessed anti-trans loons I could have been persuaded that she wanted to develop policy based on evidence. She chose not to.”

Boff concluded by accusing Badenoch of being ‘Putinesque’. He said: “Promoting the Putinesque idea that trans people are any more a threat than anyone else and that the government should regulate gender brings shame on us as a freedom loving Party that wants to roll back the state.”

This isn’t the first time Boff has come into conflict with leading Tories over trans rights. In 2023, he was ejected from the Conservative Party conference after heckling the then Home Secretary Suella Braverman.

At the conference, Boff shouted “there’s no such thigs as gender ideology” in response to a section of Braverman’s speech. As he was being removed from the hall, he said that Braverman’s speech was “making our Conservative Party look transphobic and homophobic”, and later accused Braverman of “vilifying gay people and trans people by this attack on LGBT ideology, or gender ideology”, adding, “It is fictitious. It is ridiculous. It is a signal to people who don’t like people who are LGBT+”.

Chris Jarvis is head of strategy and development at Left Foot Forward

Image credit: HM Treasury – Creative Commons

Comments are closed.