Labour delays transgender policy until after local elections due to threats of mass resignation

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LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 10: Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn makes a speech at the Methodist Central Hall in Westminster on December 10, 2016 in London, England. Mr Corbyn was joined by Labour politicians as he made a speech to mark international Human Rights Day. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

Labour has pushed back a planned statement on the status of transgender people in the party until after May’s local elections to settle the conflict with anti-trans feminists who threaten to resign. The UK’s Labour Party has faced a vicious battle over the past few months concerning the role trans women should play in the party. After a surge in anti-trans rhetoric, a fringe group of women’s rights campaigners within the party led calls for transgender women to be banned from standing on Labour’s women-only shortlists for Parliament that are used to increase the number of female Labour politicians. The row was set to come to a head this month, as the party’s ruling National Executive Committee prepared to issue a policy statement rebuffing the activists’ demands and stated that in the party’s eyes trans women are women and they would stand by it, the backpedaling is temporary, they ensure. A Labour spokesperson told the BBC today that the issue would not now be discussed by the NEC until June at the earliest – which is after the upcoming local elections. A number of campaigners threatening resignation have already been suspended from the Labour Party over abusive conduct towards trans people.

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