Analysis Breaking

Starmer’s Labour abstains on Bridgen’s anti-trans bill

Handful of rebels manage only with the help of ten Tories to ensure Bridgen’s ’10 minute rule bill’ falls, as Starmer’s abstention-addiction rears its head again

Conspicuous by his absence: Keir Starmer and his right-wing drones during Andrew Bridgen’s anti-trans bill

An anti-trans bill by right-wing MP Andrew Bridgen was defeated in Parliament yesterday by just six votes – and only because ten Tories voted against it in a Commons chamber almost empty of Labour MPs.

North-West Leicestershire MP Bridgen’s speech introducing his ’10-minute rule bill’:

  • described how he is ‘sickened’ by the ‘science experiment’ of support for those suffering gender dysphoria
  • railed against ‘so-called progressive and liberal values’, ‘socialist thinkers’, ‘mad scientists’ and the very idea that it is ‘normal’ to ‘not to feel at home in our own bodies’
  • described the bodies of trans people as ‘Frankenstein-esque’
  • condemned the ‘depravity’ of the idea that other types of sexual interaction than penis-vagina could be pleasurable might be included in sex education

According to Bridgen, teaching sex education that acknowledges that sex and gender are complex ‘dismantles the world’ and brings ‘doom’:

we dismantle the world and pull out a foundational block of society. Who knows where the Jenga tower may fall? But one thing is certain: the tower will fall, and we should all be ashamed that we would doom our children to such a fate.

Bridgen said that his bill would outlaw teaching on gender identity as valid and replace it with a set of approved materials to ensure that anti-trans views are presented as equal.

Those opposing the bill were able to force a vote – and the bill was defeated by 40 votes to 34, but only because ten Tories joined the handful of independent MPs and Labour rebels, several of whom will either not be Labour candidates at the next election or are unlikely to be, who ignored Starmer’s order to abstain.

Keir Starmer has been accused by LGBT+ groups of fostering ‘rampant transphobia’ in the Labour party – alongside rampant Islamophobia, anti-Black racism, anti-Gypsy racism and misogyny, as well as covering up sexual abuse and exploitation – and of ‘throwing trans people under the bus‘, because of his refusal to challenge anti-LGBT+ moves by the Tories and the rhetoric that has accompanied it.

His regime has frequently used abstentions as a way to help the Tories pass repressive and anti-human rights laws.

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