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Labour leadership candidates trigger backlash over pledge to expel ‘transphobic’ members

LABOUR leadership candidates have prompted a backlash by endorsing a campaign calling for the expulsion of party members who support a women’s rights group which it labels “transphobic.”

Rebecca Long Bailey and Lisa Nandy have backed a 12-point plan put forward by the Labour Campaign for Trans Rights group that calls for sex-based rights campaigners to be expelled from Labour.

Angela Rayner and Dawn Butler, who are in the running for deputy leader, also backed the group’s pledges.

The trans rights group is calling for long-debated changes to the Gender Recognition Act that would allow people to formally self-identify as the opposite sex without paying for a certificate or demonstrating that they have accessed transitioning services.

It also vows to “organise and fight against transphobic organisations such as Woman’s Place UK, LGB Alliance and other trans exclusionist hate groups.”

A Woman’s Place describes itself as a group of people from a “range of backgrounds including trade unions, women’s organisations, academia and the NHS.”

Activists including journalist Owen Jones praised the candidates’ decision to sign, calling Ms Long Bailey a “hero.”

But a spokeswoman for Woman’s Place UK said they were “extremely concerned” by the “scurrilous mischaracterisation” of the group as “transphobic” by Labour members and leadership candidates.

“These are accusations we absolutely refute and which we believe to be defamatory,” she added.

“We call on those making such accusations against us to provide evidence for these claims or withdraw them.

“We call on the Labour Party to affirm its support for women’s sex-based rights and our right to organise and exercise our right to free speech and assembly.

“We call on the Labour Party to demonstrate its opposition to this misogynistic abuse of women. Defend us or expel us.”

Some Labour members have adopted the hashtag #expelme in support of Woman’s Place, which was at the top of the Twitter trending list on Tuesday night, with thousands tweeting the party in defence of sex-based rights.

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