Lisa Nandy addresses JK Rowling comments in trans row

The shadow international development secretary revealed she is re-reading Harry Potter with her eight-year-old son after the author branded her “one of the biggest reasons many women on the Left no longer trust Labour”.

But Ms Nandy insisted women can trust Labour as she defended her staunch support for trans rights.

Asked at a press gallery lunch with journalists in Westminster if women can trust Labour, the Wigan MP said: “Yes, look, they can.
“It breaks my heart actually, we’re re-reading Harry Potter at the moment in my house with an eight-year-old who is absolutely Harry Potter obsessed.

“And I don’t think we should end up in an oppositional relationship where we’re talking about some of the most marginalised, discriminated against women and girls on the planet and we can’t have that debate because there’s a genuine conversation to be had about the rights of transgender people and the protection of safe spaces and hard-fought rights for women.

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“The reason that I and others have taken a very strong stance on the treatment of transgender people is because we’re talking about one of the most discriminated against groups of human beings in our country.

“And I genuinely think when I look at the way the debate is conducted, the way that so much of this is based on fear and creating fear about a group of people who are having a very, very tough time, who often have lack of access to treatment and support for years and years on end.

“I think when we look at the way we reduce the debate to things like bodily parts, I think when we look back in history we will be utterly ashamed of ourselves.”

JK Rowling last month hit out at Ms Nandy after she took to social media to share a clip of part of her speech to the Labour conference speaking about women’s rights.

The author – who has come under attack from trans activists for her position on women’s rights – highlighted how she previously backed sending trans woman rapists to female prisons and signed a pledge card describing a women’s rights group as a “trans-exclusionist hate group”.

She said: “You said rapists should be transferred to women’s prisons if they self-identify as women. You called Woman’s Place UK a hate group.

“Given that you’re one of the biggest reasons many women on the Left no longer trust Labour to defend their rights, do you stand by these comments?”

It comes after Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer in July said a woman is an “adult female” having previously said 99 per cent of women “haven’t got a penis”.

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