Today Penny Mordaunt was asked about GRA reform and said
“I’ve never supported self-ID”.
Pull the other one Penny!
In 2018 you said on record, from the dispatch box in the House of Commons, that:
“trans women are women and trans men are men. That is the starting point for the GRA consultation, and it will be its finishing point too”
You can watch the interview here or read the full transcript below. You can make up your own mind about Penny’s honesty.
Nicola, who’s in Leicester. Nicola, hello. What would you like to ask Penny?
Hi. My question is about Penny’s record on women’s rights. So, Penny, when you were Minister for women and equalities you wanted to change the law that would allow any man to change the sex on his birth certificate, to say that he’d been born female. No doctors, no surgery, just on his say so alone. But when Liz Truss took over, she said no, the checks and balances must stay to safeguard women’s rights. So, Penny, my question is, if you become PM, would you reverse this and make sex self ID law to let anyone swap the sex on their birth certificate?
So I’ve never supported self ID. There are some people that socially transition, but what we were looking at was the Gender Recognition Act and it’s a process that people go through. There was clamour to separate that out from healthcare and I disagreed with that. So what you’ve said, Nicola, is not a reflection of my position at any time. I think that we needed to do some things to make it easier for people to access services. The waiting list to access services were a couple of years. There were things that we could do to help people actually have their documents, like driving licences and passports, actually in the same gender. Terrible problems for people when that didn’t happen. But you have not characterised my position. And I support also women only spaces. I like the fact that in England we have refuges for women and trans women. I don’t support the scheme in Scotland where all refuges have to provide places for trans people.
But you did say in the House of Commons that trans women are women. Do you still believe that?
In law, some are. I’m a woman, I’m a biological woman. If I had a mastectomy, in future years, I would still be a woman. I’m a woman in every cell of my body. I’m also legally a woman. And people who have been through the gender recognition process, the gender reassignment, some people will have a birth certificate reissued to them in their new gender and in law, they will be in their new gender. And when you’re writing law about those people, you have to take that into account. That doesn’t mean they’re identical to me. And a lot of the issues that you’re hearing now, I was talking about three or four years ago. I set up an inquiry into a lot of young girls being moved into trans services, for example. I also raised the sports issue, which is something I feel very strongly about, because in my naval career, I compete against men and I always come last.
A lot of your opponents, particularly in this contest, are bringing this subject up to try and damage you. I think Suella Braverman said the other day that when you were bringing in some gender equality legislation you insisted on the phrase ‘people who are pregnant’ in the legislation.
Again, I’m sorry to say that is not true. I’m just sorry that this is the kind of thing some of my opponents are doing. That is not true. I had no input onto the drafting of that bill. It was given to me literally the day before it was going to be put through the House. It had been cleared by Cabinet. I had no input into the drafting, but in my stewardship of the bill through the House, I put, I allowed amendments in that amended the bill.
But you didn’t put an amendment yourself, though. Those were amendments from people in the House of Lords.
They were, but I suggested to the drafters that they put those words in and they wanted to actually wait for amendments from the Lords because they like to do that with concessions to the Lords. But I was very happy with that. And what we did was we used the word mother because it’s a female word, but it’s also legally correct.
Nicola, are you reassured?
No, I’m not. Because Penny was the women’s minister at the time when GRA reform was proposed and it was clear that the government wanted self ID at that point. So you were the minister, Penny, that led that consultation. So I’m absolutely surprised to hear that you now do not support self ID.
Nicola, again, that’s not correct. So the Gender Recognition Act and the reforms that were proposed were under Justine Greening. Justine was the minister and then Amber Rudd was the minister and then I was the minister and I took the consultation through, but we didn’t make any decisions about it. But, Nicola, I do understand why this is such a critical issue for women. It is something that I completely understand the points that you raise, and why someone like you would want reassurance from me that I support women only spaces and that I don’t want any rolling back of women’s rights. Every stage of my career, I have fought for women’s rights, and if you look at my record in the Equalities Office, I did that. I shifted our focus on the real issues facing women, women who are trapped in poverty and low pay because of legacy benefit systems, many other things. And I produced a road map for women at every stage of their life.
Nicola, thank you