An entire local Labour Party executive committee has quit after one of its members endured months of “serious abuse and harassment” from a transsexualism activist.
Women’s Officer Anne Ruzylo expressed concerns that the fear of being branded ‘politically incorrect’ is preventing a thorough examination of Government plans to make it easier to ‘change sex’.
Ruzylo said she was the subject of a bullying campaign by a fellow party member who disagreed with her.
The unnamed member is alleged to have repeatedly tried to prevent Ruzylo from voicing her concerns at local Labour meetings for Bexhill and Battle, East Sussex.
Ruzylo also says she was branded a ‘Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminist’ (TERF) and blocked from taking part in online forums for local Labour members.
A teenage male who identifies as a female and calls himself Lily Madigan, also accused Ruzylo of “transphobia”. Madigan demanded that Ruzylo be removed from her position and suspended from the Labour Party.
The complaint was dismissed but the executive council said the constant onslaught of abuse made it impossible for her to do her job.
We’re going back to the days of McCarthyism.
Ruzylo told The Times that she felt “quite violated” by the bullying.
“Debate is not hate. If we can’t talk about gender laws and get shut down on that, what’s next? What else are we not allowed to talk about?
“We’re going back to the days of McCarthyism. It is disgraceful.”
In a letter announcing the committee’s unanimous resignation, the six members said the bullying had “seriously damaged” its work.
Equalities Minister Justine Greening announced in July that the Gender Recognition Act would be reviewed.
Both Prime Minister Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn have spoken out in favour of such plans – with the Labour leader saying he wanted people to be able to ‘self-identify’ their sex.
But women’s groups, therapists, doctors, academics, campaigners and transgender activists have challenged politicians over the idea.
Hyde Park attack
In September, Maria MacLachlan was punched and kicked in London’s Hyde Park as she met with other concerned feminists to discuss Government plans to allow people to legally self-identify their gender.
A group of 23 women, including gay activist Linda Bellos and members of the Socialist Feminist Network, voiced their opposition to the attack in a letter to the Guardian.
“Attempts to minimise or justify this violence from those who sympathise with the cause these protestors claimed to support are deeply worrying”, they said.
“Women have a right to free association and assembly. Politically motivated violence aimed at silencing women and shutting us out of political discussion will not succeed.”