Labour MP Rosie Duffield likens being in party to abusive relationship
Labour MP Rosie Duffield likens being in her party to ordeal she suffered in an abusive relationship – after she was jeered by her own side for opposing Scotland’s Gender Reform Bill
- Rosie Duffield dramatically declared that the opposition had a women problem
- She also admitted that she would struggle to tell voters that it was not sexist
- Read more: Keir Starmer sides with Nicola Sturgeon on the gender reform bill
A Labour MP has likened being in her party to the ordeal she suffered in an abusive relationship, after she was jeered by male colleagues in the Commons then ignored by the leadership.
Rosie Duffield dramatically declared that the opposition had a women problem and admitted she would struggle to tell voters that it was not sexist.
She said she had been ostracised by the party hierarchy including leader Sir Keir Starmer for her views on women’s rights and said it was similar to the silent treatment she received from a controlling ex-partner.
Her damning words will raise fresh concerns among the public about Labour after the party backed Scotland’s controversial transgender self-ID reforms and some senior figures suggested that even 13-year-olds should be allowed to change sex.
Rosie Duffield (pictured) dramatically declared that the opposition had a women problem and admitted she would struggle to tell voters that it was not sexist
She said she had been ostracised by the party hierarchy including leader Sir Keir Starmer (pictured) for her views on women’s rights and said it was similar to the silent treatment she received from a controlling ex-partner
It comes after the Mail revealed three of the party’s backbenchers this week appeared at a protest alongside a trans rights activist who spent 30 years in prison for attempted murder and kidnap.
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Nicola Sturgeon, pictured at a news conference in Edinburgh on Monday, is gearing up to launch a legal challenge over the UK government’s decision to block her gender reform bill
Miss Duffield has long been Labour’s most outspoken defender of women’s rights and most vocal critic of gender ideology, but has gone further than before in her latest comments after the ‘aggression’ she received this week from her fellow MPs in the Chamber.
‘I was defending the need to protect vulnerable women in single-sex spaces, and had just criticised Scotland’s Gender Reform Bill, when Ben Bradshaw yelled his disapproval at me,’ she wrote for the Unherd website.
‘Sitting nearby, Lloyd Russell-Moyle went puce – perhaps less surprising – and started to heckle every woman who spoke of their similar concerns.’
She told how Mr Russell-Moyle – who stood next to transgender former prisoner Sarah-Jane Baker at this week’s Downing Street demonstration but insisted he knew nothing of her violent past – had then moved to sit near another female MP and stared at her in an intimidating way.
And she said his later admission that he ‘failed to control his passion’ reminded her of the victim-blaming tactic used by her abusive ex.
She wrote: ‘”Look what you made me do,” as my ex-partner would say when I had caused him to explode – perhaps by doing or wearing something he didn’t entirely like or voicing an opinion he didn’t want to hear.’
But after the ‘outburst’ came ‘silence’ from Sir Keir’s office, while party whips ‘chastised’ her for missing a routine committee meeting.
Miss Duffield insisted she is not the only Labour MP who believes that men cannot become women, but that the others dare not say so ‘outside of closed rooms or private and secret WhatsApp groups’ because they do not want to receive the same treatment she has done.
Her damning words will raise fresh concerns among the public about Labour after the party backed Scotland’s controversial transgender self-ID reforms and some senior figures suggested that even 13-year-olds should be allowed to change sex
She said that while the party’s frontbench contains a Tory defector and others who defended Jeremy Corbyn over antisemitism, there are no shadow ministers ‘who believe that biological sex can’t be erased at the stroke of a pen’.
Asking ‘is it starting to look like Labour has a women problem?’, she said it had become so for feminist and lesbian activists who were refused stalls at the party conference and anti-violence campaigners, and that she herself had been ‘ostracised’.
Miss Duffield – who in 2019 received a standing ovation in the Commons after telling how she had been the victim of coercive control – explained how domestic abuse perpetrators will ‘go quiet for days on end’ and ‘turn their back on you’.
She went on: ‘Trust me when I say I don’t take this lightly: but what I feel now, after six years of being cold-shouldered by the Labour Party, conjures memories of how I felt in that abusive relationship.’
Despite insisting she was not going to defect to a rival political group, she said her party did not feel like home and concluded: ‘In 2019, it was hard enough trying to convince my constituents that Labour wasn’t antisemitic.
‘In the next election, when they inevitably ask whether Labour is sexist, I’m not sure I’ll be able to do the same.’
Labour has been contacted for comment.
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