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Transwomen should be allowed on women-only shortlists, says Corbyn

But leader says opponents are 'free to campaign, to have that discussion' within the Labour Party

JEREMY CORBYN said transwomen should be allowed places on all-women shortlists today, saying: “The position of the [Labour] party is where you have self-identified as a woman you are treated as a woman.”

The BBC’s Andrew Marr asked about divisions in the party over the issue, pointing to the more than £20,000 raised to campaign for all-women shortlists to be reserved for people born female.

Jennifer James, founder of the crowdfunding campaign, has been suspended from Labour after her name appeared on a Facebook list of alleged transphobes.

But Mr Corbyn told Mr Marr: “People are free to campaign within the party and free to raise these issues and have that discussion.”

He said he wanted dialogue with women’s and feminist groups that have concerns over the policy, as well as with campaigners such as black feminist Linda Bellos, who Mr Marr quoted warning thousands of women might leave the Labour Party because of it.

TUC LGBT+ committee trans member Debbie Hayton said the amount raised by Ms James showed “concerns over self-identification are widespread.

“It would be foolish to write off the concerns of so many people as transphobic bigotry,” she told the Morning Star.

“When we disagree over policy we need to engage in comradely debate to achieve solutions that protect trans rights without compromising women's rights.”

Trans rights depend on support from women, who are also “oppressed by the male-dominated economic and political system that seeks to use us for its own ends,” she argued.

The Conservative Party is also divided on the issue, with David Davies MP saying he would raise an official complaint against LGBT+ Conservatives after they called him transphobic for saying having a penis made an individual male.

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