Warning! This motion may damage your CLP

New Socialist has produced a draft motion for Constituency Labour Party groups (CLPs) entitled ‘Draft Model Motion in support of trans, nonbinary, and intersex rights’.

In their ‘Tasks & Values’, New Socialist claim: “We believe in tactful, generous, supportive discussion between comrades.”

We are therefore astonished that they have produced a model motion such as this and urge them to retract or correct it.

In the meantime, we respond to specific allegations made in that motion about Woman’s Place UK which are untrue; some of which may be defamatory.

Our focus is to challenge the lies about our campaign. We believe there are other misrepresentations in the motion and we strongly urge CLPs to ask for evidence and to check the claims being made, especially as some of them may place individuals, branches, wards, CLPS and the Labour party in breach of the law.

Specifically, we believe that this motion includes false, and possibly defamatory, statements about Graham Linehan, Suzanne Moore, Selina Todd, Laura Pidcock and individuals who are associated with the LGB Alliance, as well as those associated with Woman’s Place UK.

It is extremely disturbing that statements like those made by Laura Pidcock and Suzanne Moore are being characterised as transphobic.  Both Moore and Pidcock have simply called for the right of women to speak about matters of material concern to them free of intimidation.  This should be a basic expectation of any citizen in a properly functioning democracy.

Below, we have addressed the parts of the motion which refer to Woman’s Place UK and our campaign. The relevant text of the motion is in italics; our comments follow.

______ Branch/Constituency Labour Party expresses solidarity with trans, nonbinary and intersex people, supports the Labour Campaign for Trans Rights pledges, and resolves to take action to oppose transphobia in our movement in order to make it a safe place for our trans, nonbinary and intersex comrades.

That the pledges produced by the Labour Campaign for Trans Rights have been signed by many, but not all, of the current candidates for Leader and Deputy Leader.

That some of those candidates who did sign the pledges later expressed concern about the pledges “closing down debate” and about proscribing particular groups.

We regret that so many Labour Party leadership and deputy leadership candidates signed this pledge without due diligence. It is our understanding that some now regret signing a pledge which defames Woman’s Place UK and LGB Alliance, and potentially commits the signatory to expelling thousands of women in the Party who support the sex-based rights women hold in law.

That the Labour Campaign for Trans Rights explicitly identifies Woman’s Place UK and LGB Alliance as “trans-exclusionist hate groups”.

The Labour Campaign for Trans Rights has provided no evidence for such claims. Woman’s Place UK is not transphobic. We have had trans speakers at our meetings. Trans people have attended in the audience and spoken from the floor.

That Woman’s Place UK has organised events in which trans people—and particularly trans women—have been attacked and described as “parasites” and “horrible hateful misogynistic bastards”.

These accusations are entirely false. The event mentioned in the Pink News article cited was not organised by Woman’s Place UK (as the article clearly notes).

The Vimeo video cited has been edited to misrepresent the comments made by Anne Ruzylo at our first meeting in Cambridge in November 2017. The original (unedited) video is available on our YouTube channel. We believe the edited Vimeo video to be defamatory and Vimeo has been contacted and asked to take the video down. We strongly urge others not to share it. It should certainly not be presented as if it is a reliable piece of evidence.

The reference was to specific trans activists (not all of them trans) in Ruzylo’s own CLP, whom Ruzylo says had bullied and harassed her out of the party. This story was covered in the Times, the Economist and the local Bexhill Observer. For a full correction of this misinformation please read our statement here.

That Woman’s Place UK was founded at an event held on 13 September 2017 in which Julia Long gave a speech which involved projecting photographs of trans women, mocking their appearance, and referring to them as “men”.

Woman’s Place UK was not founded at this event. WPUK was formed later in September in response to the violent assault of Maria MacLachlan which occurred the same evening. The explicit aim of our initial campaign was to ensure that women’s voices were heard in a public consultation on a change to the law relating the Gender Recognition Act. Julia Long has never spoken from the platform at an event organised by Woman’s Place UK.

That Section 2, Clause 1.8 of the Labour Party Rule Book states: “No member of the Party shall engage in conduct which… might reasonably be seen to demonstrate hostility or prejudice based on… gender reassignment or identity”.

Woman’s Place UK is not affiliated to the Labour Party. Some individuals connected with Woman’s Place UK are members. None of them are in breach of Labour Party rules.

However, it is clear that a number of Labour party members and members of staff may well be in breach of Labour Party rules and values. This is best evidenced by their involvement in promoting and attending the aggressive and intimidating protest outside our unofficial fringe in Brighton in September 2019. Formal complaints have been submitted to both the Labour Party and Sussex Police.

The model motion also references the recent cartoon in the Morning Star which was subsequently retracted. Our statement on the Morning Star cartoon is here.

We will be sending this statement to both New Socialist and the Labour Party.

Please share it widely so that CLPs can be informed about its unreliability.

8th March 2020

We believe that it is important to share a range of viewpoints on women’s rights and advancement from different perspectives. WPUK does not necessarily agree or endorse all the views that we share.