John Humphrys defends free speech in face of trans ‘mob’

Former BBC journalist John Humphrys has criticised transgender activists for silencing free speech.

Writing in The Daily Mail, the veteran broadcaster recounted a conversation with a senior doctor who is afraid to speak out about the rising number of children being treated for gender confusion.

She believes many of these children are very confused teenagers who are being misdiagnosed.


Humphrys said her silence “should worry every one of us”, and emphasised the importance of free speech.

“Self-censorship is not the equivalent of restraint, which is essential in any civilised society. It is surrender to the mob.”

He added: “Why should a doctor talking about one of the most profoundly controversial issues of our time feel intimidated?

“If anyone should be banned, it’s the mob. But we can’t do that. If we did, it would mean that they had won.”


Humphrys also voiced his concerns over the many children given treatment which “will change their lives — sometimes after frighteningly little consultation”.

“Children change constantly. It’s what growing up is all about. And yet while they are in this state of flux we are allowing them to make life-changing decisions. Can there be a bigger decision for a girl than ‘becoming’ a boy? Or vice versa?

“The truly terrifying question is: ‘What if you change your mind?’ How can we expect a young adolescent to answer that?”

Shelving plans

Last month, The Times newspaper reported that ministers are reconsidering plans to make changing legal sex much easier.

Currently, anyone wanting to legally ‘change sex’ is required to have lived as if a member of the opposite sex for two years and be approved by a specialist panel before they can receive a Gender Recognition Certificate and a new birth certificate.

In 2018, the Government proposed allowing people to change sex simply by declaring themselves to be the opposite sex.

The Scottish Government is also under pressure to call a halt to its plans for rapid ‘sex swaps’.

Also see:

Humphrys critical of BBC’s unquestioning acceptance of transgender ideology

‘After gruesome trans surgery, I’ve returned to my birth sex’

Judge upholds freedom of speech in trans tweet row

Security guards for Oxford prof after trans activists’ threats’

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