Tony Blair has risked courting further controversy on Sunday, after he expressed his views on the trans debate in an interview with The Times. The former Labour leader has taken a position which differs from Keir Starmer’s.
Tony Blair, Keir Starmer, and different takes on trans women
Blair stated that voters ‘do not want a situation where women can’t talk about being women’, taking a broadly different stance to the current Labour leader. Starmer said on Friday that ‘trans women are women’, after largely staying non-committal on the issue.
Blair called the senior politician a ‘work in progress’, saying that Starmer has made a solid start to his leadership. However, the pair aren’t exactly seeing eye-to-eye when it comes to discussing the trans community.
What has Keir Starmer said about trans women?
Starmer believes the law is on his side, saying the 2004 Gender Recognition Act AND the 2010 Equality Act acknowledges a trans woman’s right to self-identification. However, he also stressed that those who are born as women ‘deserve their own safe spaces’.
“A woman is a female adult and, in addition to that, trans women are women, and that is not just my view, that is actually the law. It has been the law through the combined effects of the 2004 [Gender Recognition] Act and the 2010 [Equality] Act.”
“The process that people have to go through does need to be looked at. If you talk to anybody who’s been through the process there’s a real issue about respect and dignity.”Keir Starmer
Of course, JK Rowling has an opinion
Whereas Tony Blair’s disagreement with Starmer was ultimately a civil one, the same cannot be said for JK Rowling. The Harry Potter author has been incredibly outspoken on transgender rights, and she didn’t hesitate to slam the current leader of the opposition:
“Keir Starmer publicly misrepresents equalities law, in yet another indication that the Labour Party can no longer be counted on to defend women’s rights. But I repeat: women are organising across party lines, and their resolve and their anger are growing”JK Rowling