The Prime Minister is standing by the transphobic rhetoric made at the Conservative Party conference, whilst a new Home Office statistical bulletin shows a concerning rise in transphobic hate.
Rishi Sunak has continued to double down on his transphobic rhetoric, despite stoic backlash from LGBTQIA+ organisations, individuals and their allies. The comments made are presented amidst new hate crime statistics being revealed that show England and Wales continues to become less safe for LGBTQIA+ people.
In Sunak’s closing keynote speech at the Conservative Party conference on Wednesday (4 October), he addressed the audience and said: “It shouldn’t be controversial for parents to know what their children are being taught in schools about relationships.
“Patients should know when the hospitals are talking about men or women. We shouldn’t get bullied into believing that people can be any sex they want to be. They can’t. A man is a man and a woman is a woman, that’s just common sense.”
He was met with a rapturous applause from the Conservative Party ministers and members watching.
Following the conference Sunak arrived in Granada, Spain to attend the European Political Community Summit, where he is urging European leaders to “unite” over migration.
Sunak was asked by a reporter: “Do you in any way regret saying ‘a man is a man’ and a ‘woman is a woman’?”
Sunak responded: “No, I think a man is a man and a woman is a woman, I think most people watching this program will think that, that’s common sense and that’s just a fact of biology.
“Now, of course, this is always going to be a passionate, tolerant country. That’s how we always are but we can’t ignore fundamental facts of biology and saying those things shouldn’t be controversial.”
Sunak’s comments landed at the same time that new research from the Home Office revealed a worrying and consistent rise in transphobic hate.
New figures published by the Home Office on 5 October entitled ‘Hate crime, England and Wales, 2022 to 2023’ showed that overall incidents of hate crime have fallen by 5 per cent since last year – the first time the number has dropped since 2013.
The drop was put down to a decrease in “racially or religiously aggravated public fear, alarm or distress when flagged as a hate crime”.
Yet, the figures confirmed the number of transgender identity hate crimes recorded in 2022/23 as 4,732. This marks a rise of 11 per cent, the highest number since the time series began in the year ending March 2012.
The report explored why the increase has happened and noted: “Transgender issues have been heavily discussed by politicians, the media and on social media over the last year, which may have led to an increase in these offences, or more awareness in the police in the identification and recording of these crimes.”
Stonewall took to Twitter and presented statistics that showed “an 11% rise in transphobic hate crime” the timing of which is notable as “trans people have been mocked and portrayed as dangerous by powerful politicians.”
There has been an increase in hate of 186% in the last five years.
Stonewall further showed that: “Hate crimes on the basis of sexual orientation are still up by 112% in the last five years, despite this year’s slight decrease of 6%.
“Hate crimes based on sexual orientation and transgender identity are the most likely to involve violence or threats of violence.”
New hate crime statistics reveal that England and Wales continue to become less safe for LGBTQ+ people.
Notably, news of an 11% rise in transphobic hate crime comes in a week where trans people have been mocked and portrayed as dangerous by powerful politicians. 🧵 pic.twitter.com/Uj0xmRlZ6E
— Stonewall (@stonewalluk) October 5, 2023
Sunak’s anti-trans ideology is shared by several Conservative Party members. Health Secretary Steve Barclay used part of his speech at the Conservative Party conference to outline his agenda to ban transgender women on cis-women’s wards in the NHS.
This ran contradictory to an investigation previously conducted by Steph Richards and published by TransLucent that showed no complaints were made towards trans woman being treated alongside cis-women across 10 trusts.
Barclay’s claim has been supported by Home Secretary Suella Braverman who told Sky News that “trans women have no place in women’s wards.”
Braverman has additionally made her own controversial comments recently when she stated that fear of being persecuted over being gay and/or a woman is not reason enough to claim asylum in the UK. A stance that has been strongly condemned.
In a letter, 246 human rights organisations have come together to ask the Prime Minister to reaffirm the UK’s commitment to protect LGBTQIA+ people and women globally.