Right of reply to the BBC re Aimee Challenor

On the 4th September, the BBC published an article about Aimee Challenor and the Green Party. In that article, the following references were made to Woman’s Place UK:

‘Ms Challenor also criticised former party leader Caroline Lucas for agreeing to meet with campaign group Woman’s Place UK.

She described the group, which campaigns against proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act (GRA), as a “far-right transphobic hate group”.’

The BBC made no attempt to contact us before publication for a comment for us or as far as we can see, to investigate if the allegations made by Challenor were true.

Following widespread condemnation by our supporters (both on Twitter and through on-line complaints) the BBC contacted us to ask for a statement which we supplied.

They have since updated the article to include comments from Woman’s Place UK.

They chose not to publish our statement in full which we publish here:

“We absolutely refute the scurrilous accusation made by Aimee Challenor about us which we believe to be defamatory. Such a slur demeans and undermines the important discussion needed on this issue.

Woman’s Place UK is a campaign with around 10,000 followers on Twitter. The campaign is run by a group of people from a range of backgrounds including trade unions, women’s organisations, academia and the NHS. We believe in the right of everyone to live their lives free from discrimination and harassment.

We formed last September to ensure women’s voices were heard in discussions on proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act. We are campaigning to defend the rights of women under the law and so that any changes to the GRA work for all. We organise well-attended, respectful meetings that have trans people both on the platform and in the audience. We are committed to respectful discussion that respects the rights of all.”

We would like to thank everyone who took the time to challenge the BBC on its poor journalistic standards and to defend Woman’s Place UK.

We hope that your reaction will discourage them from allowing such comments to go unchallenged on their sites and publications in future and that they will seek to cover all views and perspectives on this question.

4th September 2018