Penny Mordaunt, a Conservative MP and Leader of the House of Commons, has spoken out against so-called “culture wars” and the vilification of transgender people.

During an appearance on the BBC’s ‘Political Thinking with Nick Robinson’ podcast, Mordaunt was asked about the “deep electoral hole” the Tories are in and whether or not she thinks the “way to get out of it is to be anti-woke” as others do.

“I think part of our role is to bring people together, we are more effective as a nation, or as a community, when we’re taking care of each other, when we’re pulling together and when we’re protecting each other’s rights,” she told the host.

“That’s what makes us a great nation and when we’re at our best is when we’re living those values and we’re inspiring others to follow those values. And so, I think the world is a dangerous and an uncertain place and we’ve got enough things to worry about than starting spats on Twitter and so forth, or culture wars.

“There are serious and complex social issues, but actually, when the public have been left to get on with these things themselves, they develop solutions, they develop norms and actually, most people in this country care about other people and their ability to lead their lives and, so, that’s always the view I’ve taken and I think that’s one reason why I’m in politics.”

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Robinson then referenced the “heavy price” Mordaunt has paid for expressing her support for the LGBTQ+ community so openly.

He specifically mentioned the UK’s right wing media outlets routinely running pieces about such issues when she ran to be leader of the Conservative Party last year.

“I think people will conflate all sorts of things,” she responded. “My own views have always been very clear on this and, in fact, they were very clear throughout the whole leadership contest. I see no incompatibility with being kind and understanding and protecting the ability for trans people to go around and live their lives, with protecting my rights as a woman, to privacy and dignity and all of that. A lot of these things, I think, are a confected situation.”

‘Trans women are women and trans men are men’

Mordaunt, who has an openly gay twin brother, has previously been seen as an LGBTQ+ ally in government and, in 2018, stated that “trans women are women” and “trans men are men”.

However, her summer leadership campaign cast a shadow over her allyship when she shared that she “never supported self-ID” and clarified her belief that trans women are not “biological women” but can be recognised as women in law.

“In law, some are,” she told LBC at the time. “I’m a woman. I’m a biological woman…I’m also legally a woman, and people who have been through the gender recognition process, the gender reassignment, some people will have a birth certificate reissued to them in their new gender.”

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When Robinson asked about the impact her 2018 comments had on her bid to become Prime Minister, Mordaunt answered: “We’re talking about people’s rights in law, not biology. That’s the difference and I’ve been very clear on that. And I think, actually, that’s where the bulk of the public are.

“There’s no incompatibility with colleagues and others and members of the public between looking out for somebody and being upset if a particular group of people are being vilified or misrepresented in our community and, my rights as a woman, to privacy and dignity and fairness in things like sport and all of those other issues.”

She said differences in views are not “awkward” but instead are an example of “democracy” in action.

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“And there will be people that say that makes us weak as a society, that Brexit, being another issue of great division, it doesn’t – these things make us strong,” she stated.

During her leadership campaign, Mordaunt pledged to address the lengthy wait times for gender-affirming care and has shown support for a full ban on so-called ‘conversion therapy’.

She has always voted in favour of LGBTQ+ rights, including same-sex marriage.