UK Politician: Male Child Rapists Should 'Choose' Women's Prisons if Transgender
Left-wing Labour Party leadership contender says trans violent offenders deserve a choice
A top British politician has sparked outrage by saying violent male offenders, including child rapists, should be allowed to "choose" to be jailed in a women's prison if they "identify" as transgender.
MP Lisa Nandy, a contender to replace socialist Jeremy Corbyn as the left-wing Labour Party leader, says violent sex criminals "should be accommodated in a prison of their choosing" if they "transition" to a different gender.
Nandy, of Wigan, England, became the latest Labour leadership contender to become embroiled in a trans rights row that triggered a bitter women's rights schism within the party.
During a recent campaign rally, Nandy was asked whether violent male sexual offenders who "transition" should be allowed to serve their sentence in a prison assigned to convicts of the gender they "identify" as.
The idea has been slammed by critics, who argue that female inmates will be potentially be put at risk of harm by forcing them to live alongside violent biologically male sex offenders.
Nandy, 40, received applause from the audience, however, when she declared: "I believe fundamentally in people's right to self-ID."
"I believe the Gender Recognition Act strikes the wrong balance in relation to that," Ms. Nandy continued.
"I think that crimes that are recorded should be recorded as that person wishes, having gone through that process, received support and self-identified.
"I think trans women are women, I think trans men are men, so I think they should be accommodated in a prison of their choosing."
The question was asked by a critic who specifically asked about the case of a man jailed for five counts of child rape, who later transitioned to become a woman, according to the Daily Mail.
Yesterday Labour was served with court papers over its policy of allowing anyone who says they are female to stand as a candidate on an all-women shortlist.
Campaigners raised more than £30,000 to pay for the case.
Labour’s policy allows "self-identifying" transgender women – those who have not legally changed from male to female – to put themselves forward for all-women shortlists.
Opponents say the policy is unfair as it means candidates just have to tick a box to say they are female, and so could lead to a man being chosen to run for a parliamentary seat ahead of a woman.
In a statement on the Keep All-Women Shortlists Female campaign website, barrister Amanda Jones wrote: "We are seeking to challenge the Labour Party’s policy that anybody who identifies as a woman (even to the extent merely of ticking a box to say that they identify as such) can stand as a candidate on an all-women shortlist."
But a Labour spokesman defended the policy, saying: "Labour’s all-women shortlists have always been open to trans women so the petition is not factually accurate and the claim has no merit."
Last week, fellow Labour MP Rebecca Long-Bailey backed a campaign that labeled a women's rights organization a "trans-exclusionist hate group."
The Labour Campaign for Trans Rights published a 12-point plan which it said is designed to "rid the Labour Party of transphobia and to stand up for trans people."
Ms. Long-Bailey tweeted: "Please sign to show your support for the trans and non-binary community, for whom the Labour Party should always be a safe space."
The campaign states that there is "no material conflict between trans rights and women's rights" and calls for the "expulsion from the Labour Party of those who express bigoted, transphobic views."
However, one of the campaign's pledges calls for Labour to "organize and fight against transphobic organizations such as Woman's Place UK, LGB Alliance, and other trans-exclusionist hate groups."
Woman's Place UK, a group that was established to "ensure that women’s voices are heard and our sex-based rights upheld," rejected the accusation which it said it believes is "defamatory."