Labor Conference: Rosie Duffield appears at unofficial fringe event in Brighton although said she was warned to stay away on safety advice

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Labor Conference: Rosie Duffield appears at unofficial fringe event in Brighton although said she was warned to stay away on safety advice


A Labor MP who said she would not attend the party conference in Brighton on security advice after allegedly receiving threats made an appearance at a rally in the town and criticized Sir Keir Starmer on women’s rights.

Rosie Duffield has been criticized for opposing transgender women to access single-sex spaces such as domestic violence shelters, school toilets and prisons.

The Labor MP is reportedly staying away from the party rally in Brighton due to online threats from transgender activists.

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Rosie Duffield unexpectedly attended an event on Tuesday night

On Sunday, Sir Keir Starmer said Ms Duffield was wrong to say that “only women have a cervix” in a tweet last year.

But make a unexpected appearance During an unofficial fringe event on Tuesday evening, Ms Duffield called on the Labor leader to ‘clarify’ Labor’s position on the issue and maintain his comments.

The Canterbury MP told Sky News: ‘I feel like the Labor Party needs to have clear lines and Keir in particular, sort of, was not particularly clear in this interview the other day. .

“What women like me want is just a pledge that the single-sex exemptions will be maintained in the Equality Act of 2010.

“We totally agree that the path to self-identification is made easier and trans rights made easier, but we need to protect unisex spaces and that’s all we really want. “

When asked if she would leave the party in the face of the criticism she received, Ms. Duffield replied, “Absolutely not, no.” »

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Sir Keir Starmer said Ms Duffield was wrong to say that ‘only women have a cervix’

And eager to see if she would continue to voice her opinions, the Labor MP added: ‘Yeah, I mean, you know, someone has to do it, and my colleagues and I who are here tonight need a voice, must speak to be able to speak on high.

“Thousands of women have been in contact with me, it’s not a niche issue, and I know some in the party want to stick their heads in the sand and say it’s just a really niche issue. , irrelevant – but this is one of the issues people are talking about a lot right now and we need to clarify our position. “

About 25 protesters gathered outside the location of the event, which was not disclosed until shortly before it began in order to protect the safety of Ms Duffield.

Security guards were also keeping a close eye on the hotel in which the rally was held and Ms Duffield confirmed to Sky News that she was “not giving a conference” and was simply attending “this event” at the Old Ship hotel on Brighton seafront.

The Labor MP said she had been invited to attend the event by friends and felt it was important to talk about the issue on which ‘many’ other Labor MPs agree with her position .

“It’s understandable, they are not necessarily ready to speak. “

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A number of protesters gathered in front of the site of the event

Asked about the issue during an appearance on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show, Sir Keir said there had to be a “mature and respectful debate” on trans rights.

He said trans people are among the “most marginalized and abused communities”.

And on Ms Duffield, he declined to label his comments as transphobic, but added: ‘This is something that shouldn’t be said. It is not fair.

“I spoke to Rosie earlier this week and told her her lecture was a safe place for her, and it’s a safe place for her.

“We’re doing everyone a disservice when we reduce what’s really important to these conversations about particular things being said. “

Sir Keir added: “We need to have a mature and respectful debate on trans rights and we need to keep in mind that the trans community is one of the most marginalized and abused communities, and everywhere we deal with. the law, we need to go further. “

Deputy Head of Labor Angela Rayner speaks at the Labor Party conference in Brighton
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Angela Rayner, deputy head of Labor, said it was a ‘concern’ that Ms Duffield felt unable to make it to Brighton for a conference

Angela Rayner, Deputy Leader of the Labor Party, said it was a ‘concern’ that Ms Duffield felt unable to make it to Brighton for a conference and pledged ‘robust’ action against any member of the Party who targets her.

“Rosie deserves all of our support and protection from this and she would get it,” she told Sky’s Trevor Phillips on the Sunday show.

“If she had come to the conference, we would have assessed the risks and made sure she had all the support she needed to be here. ”

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