Don’t let Labor become a pressure group on transit rights or he will never regain power, warns Tony Blair as leadership rivals Rebecca Long-Bailey and Lisa Nandy pledge to expel “transphobic” members.
- The ex premier said fixing the marginal issue risked putting off “a whole load of people”
- He warned the next leader not to turn the party into simply a “pressure group”
- He warned that doing so would risk keeping the party helpless in opposition
Tony Blair has warned Labor not to be drawn into a “cultural war” for trans rights today, warning potential party leaders that it could cost them the keys to Downing Street.
The ex-prime minister, who won three elections, said fixing the marginal issue risked putting off “a whole load of people” when he needs to rebuild his support base after the humiliation of the December elections.
He warned the leader to replace Jeremy Corbyn not to turn the party into simply a “pressure group” and urged them not to sign a 12-point pledge card issued by the Labor Campaign for Transfer Rights (LCTR).
The pledge card – already supported by MP Wigan, Ms Nandy and Ms Long-Bailey – has sparked controversy calling for “the expulsion from the Labor Party of those who express bigote and transphobic opinions”.
Speaking in London in front of an audience that included his wife Cherie and younger son Leo, he said that Labor should instead engage with the formal government consultation on the opportunity to self-identify for those living as a tranger.
“You have to distinguish between defending the right things – gay rights, the rights of transsexuals – and launching yourself politically into a cultural war with the right,” he said.
“If you go”, “transgender rights are our big thing”, “and reason is fine”, “immigration controls are our big thing”, “you will lose it.
“You won’t advance any of the things you want to do.”
The three-election former Prime Minister said transportation rights setting risked putting off “a whole load of people” when he needs to rebuild his support base
Speaking in London in front of an audience that included his wife Cherie and younger son Leo, he said that Labor should instead engage in the consultation on the trangender’s self-identification
Ms. Nandy sparked controversy on Monday by saying that perpetrators of violence including male rapists, including child rapists, should have the right to serve sentences in women-only prisons if they make the transition.
During an election rally she was asked to express her views on whether to authorize perpetrators of violent male sexual assault in a prison assigned to prisoners of their new gender.
Critics of the idea suggest that it could potentially endanger inmates by forcing them to live alongside violent sex offenders who may still be biologically male.
Wigan’s MP on Monday became the last Labor leadership contender to get involved in a row by threatening to provoke a bitter schism within the party
Last week Rebecca Long-Bailey supported a campaign that called a women’s rights organization a “trans-exclusionist hate group”
But Nandy, 40, was applauded when she said to the public: “I think the crimes that are being recorded should be recorded as that person wishes, after going through that process, receiving support and self-identified.
“I think transsexual women are women, I think transsexual men are men, so I think they should be hosted in a prison of their choice.”
But in his speech today at King’s College London, Blair said: “If you’re going to start trying to support things in a heart-pounding sectarian way, saying” “If you don’t sign up for what I’m saying then I’ll stop yours. you meet and I will shout at you ”, you will not win that battle.
“You’re just going to put off a lot of people.”