Keir Starmer plans to exclude trans women from women’s hospital wards

While the Tory Party may be on its way out in the UK’s next general election, the Labour Party is poised to carry on the torch of trans exclusion. In a recent interview, Labour Party leader Keir Starmer suggested that trans women should be seen in separate “side rooms” rather than in single sex wards. The comment comes barely a week after Starmer pledged to end culture wars if elected.

Side rooms in hospitals are typically reserved for isolation, often in the event that a patient has a contagious illness or is especially prone to infection. But in a recent interview with radio news station LBC, Starmer suggested they should be repurposed for transgender women.

Host Nick Ferrari began the conversation by asking whether he would be allowed into a women’s ward if he identified as a woman and had a gender recognition certificate. “You would be accommodated, but not in a woman’s ward,” Starmer answered.

When pressed on how exactly accommodation would look, Starmer elaborated, “Well, hospitals already do this, there are ways this can be done. Lots of wards have side rooms.”

“Many, many wards have the traditional beds laid out in that way, that are single-sex,” he continued. “Many wards these days have side rooms for general use. The rule about single-sex wards, or the policy, is already there. The only reason there’s any issue these days is because the government has lost control of our hospitals.”

Starmer’s comments come less than a year after UK Health Secretary Steve Barclay pledged to ban trans women from women’s wards. Then, as now, there are no complaints on record about the presence of trans women in hospitals, and it’s unclear what “issue” Starmer was referring to. The politician poised to replace Barclay, the Labour Party’s own Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting, once said “trans men are men, trans women are women… get over it,” but has since reversed that stance.

Last week, Starmer told Huffington Post that he would put an end to culture wars if he became the next prime minister.  “I think people are exhausted by culture wars,” he said. “My clear view is that the vast majority of the public in general in the UK are reasonable, tolerant people.

“Live and let live is a very British thing, and what culture wars do is force people into taking sides that they’re not instinctively inclined to do. And it’s exhausting because you’re constantly having a battle about this and a battle about that. That’s why I’ve said that politics needs to tread more lightly on people’s lives.”

The next UK general election will be held on July 4.

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Tags: Transphobia UK
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