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Labour offer to meet JK Rowling to give ‘assurances’ on women’s rights

24 Jun 2024 3 minute read
J K Rowling and Rachel Reeves

Labour’s Rachel Reeves said the party would meet Harry Potter author JK Rowling to provide her with “assurances” over the protection of women-only spaces.

The shadow chancellor made the offer after Rowling said at the weekend that Labour had “abandoned” her and others campaigning for women’s rights.

The author, a former member of the Labour Party who has made donations to them in the past, said she would “struggle to support them” in next week’s General Election.

Advocate

Ms Rowling has become known as a fierce advocate for the rights of biological women after speaking out against Scottish Government proposals to introduce self identification for transgender people.

While gender recognition reforms were passed by Holyrood, the legislation was never implemented after being blocked by the UK Government.

Now reports suggest a Labour government could make it easier for people to legally transition by removing the need for them to prove they have lived as their preferred gender for two years.

The Times newspaper reported this will be replaced with a two-year “reflection period”, with the party also set to drop the number of doctors needed to approve a person’s gender recognition certificate – which recognises them in their preferred gender – from two to one.

Ms Reeves, however, insisted protection for single sex spaces for women would “absolutely stay”.

Speaking as she campaigned in Scotland, Ms Reeves said: “We’re not going to be changing anything around biological sex. So the Equality Act stands and the protection of single sex spaces, based on biological sex will absolutely stay.

“Labour introduced the Equality Act it is very important to us and that protection for single sex spaces.”

Assurances

Regarding Rowling’s comments, the shadow chancellor added: “We’re really happy to talk to JK Rowling to give her assurances about that.”

Ms Reeves insisted: “For me those protections whether it is about prisons, refuges, changing spaces, that is really important to me, it is really important to the Labour Party that those single sex spaces based on biological sex are protected.

“And nothing in our plans goes contrary to that, nothing at all.”

However, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has insisted Labour’s proposals could create “loopholes that would be exploited by bad faith actors”.

Speaking to journalists in Edinburgh, he said: “What I’ve seen from the Labour Party is they’re going to undo all the progress that we’ve made on this issue, undermine the protections that we’ve put in place for women’s rights and their safety and security.

His comments came as he insisted Labour had never “properly cared or understood this issue”, while Scottish Conservatives leader Douglas Ross said the reaction from Rowling showed “how out of touch Labour are with this issue”.


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Adrian
Adrian
21 days ago

Humans cannot change sex, and anyone who thinks they can is an idiot. The gender identity hypothesis has no grounding in science, empirical evidence, or indeed objective reality yet it is currently being promoted in English, and especially in Welsh schools, as if it were fact. We really are living in a uniquely stupid age, where we not only tolerate people who talk complete nonsense, we actually elect them to positions of power.

Last edited 21 days ago by Adrian
Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
21 days ago

This article started with an offer to JK Rowling that she should take up, not only to save her from destroying her legacy but to nail shut any idea that she is a Tory/Reform/GBeebies anti people, wedge issue s**tstirrer. It finished with two high ranking Tory s**tstirrers who really should stop digging their political graves using this as a wedge issue they don’t give a toss about. The future of public toilets is one enclosed cubicle, top to bottom, no gaps, for ALL persons and a common hand wash area. These facilities already exist and will kill this debate dead.… Read more »

Adrian Bamford
Adrian Bamford
21 days ago
Reply to  Fi yn unig

Presumably it’ll be OK then if we send your female family members into the new mixed showers at the local leisure centre first…as a sort pilot scheme.

Jen
Jen
20 days ago
Reply to  Fi yn unig

Common hand wash area! Never had a very heavy period needing to wash your thighs and rinse out a pair of pants? Clearly you don’t know much about women’s toilets and washroom needs.

Elen Griffith
Elen Griffith
20 days ago
Reply to  Fi yn unig

Oh, stand back, finally a man has arrived to solve this problem with a floor to ceiling cubicle. The decade long push back by women of men accessing their spaces, their hospital wards, their prison cells, their sporting achievements, their awards, their language and their very definition has been solved with a toilet cubicle idea which is neither practical nor relevant. Your reductive and dismissive response shows that what you know and understand of this debate could quickly be jotted on a post it note. If you feel driven to comment on an issue which affects every woman you know,… Read more »

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
20 days ago

I have spent a long time considering the replies I got to my post on here and with a certain level of humility. Adrian B: No, I would not volunteer females in my, yours or anyone elses’ family up for a pilot scheme into mixed showers at a leisure centre. I absolutely believe in same sex spaces. Jen: You’ll be pleased to hear that I do not know much about womens’ toilets but do know about their washroom needs having been married to a woman for 38 years but perhaps not knowing how the matters you describe are dealt with… Read more »

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