This statement was updated on 27th October to note the withdrawal of the offending statement by Edinburgh Labour Students. Please see update at the end.
Edinburgh Labour Students today published a statement attacking Ann Henderson, a prominent and respected Labour Party and trade union activist for attending our meeting on Sex and the Census on Sunday 18th October. Around 500 people attended this webinar which you can watch on our YouTube channel.
The statement also makes allegations about Woman’s Place UK (WPUK) which are simply untrue.
Edinburgh Labour Students claim to have issued a statement making similar allegations back in 2018. The only statement we can source is this from 6th August 2018 in which we can find no mention of the claims they repeat today (*see note at end):
“From our statement back in 2018, Woman’s Place: ‘… is a group that has referred to trans youth as mutilated/sexual predators, encouraged educators to treat trans youth as mentally ill and repeatedly referred to trans women as violent men, ‘parasites’ and rapists.’”
In any case, none of the allegations made in this statement have any foundation in fact.
As we say on our website:
“We are against all forms of discrimination. We believe in the right of everyone to live their lives free from discrimination and harassment.”
We regret that students at a such a highly regarded university can have learnt so little about academic rigour as to perpetrate such unfounded slurs so carelessly and with the aim of impugning the reputation of a longstanding activist for equality and justice.
We have written to Edinburgh Labour students to ask them to withdraw the statement.
26th October 2020
*Correction: on closer inspection we note that the statement from 2018 did make the same allegations.
We are pleased to see that Edinburgh Labour Students have removed the statement they published on 26th October which we believe defamed both our campaign and Ann Henderson.
We are disappointed that Edinburgh Labour Students have not responded to our email or our response or apologised for the false claims they have made about us.
We also note that the statement from 2018 which made the orginal defamatory allegations is still on the Edinburgh Labour Students Facebook page.
This should be withdrawn as well.
We all make mistakes. There is no shame in admitting this. An apology clears the air and can often be the start of reasoned dialogue and better understanding.
We hope that such reasoned dialogue will begins to take place in Edinburgh, Cambridge and all other universities and communities soon.
- Read our previous statement on the attacks on Ann Henderson