Keir Starmer accepts a woman is ‘an adult female’

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has declared that a “woman is an adult female”.

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, Sir Keir said he wanted to ‘clear up’ questions about the definition of ‘woman’.

In April, he claimed that “99.9% of women do not have a penis”, and in 2021, he said it was “not right” to say only women have a cervix amid a row with one of his own MPs – Rosie Duffield.


Following the party’s National Policy Forum, Starmer has said that UK Labour has agreed to make it easier to change legal sex.

In contrast to Scottish Labour, it doesn’t think that “self identification is the right way forward”. But it does propose to weaken current protections by only requiring one doctor to diagnose an applicant, rather than two.

The UK Labour leader said the Forum “gave us the chance to reflect on what happened in Scotland recently”, and “allowed us to be clear that there should be safe places, safe spaces, for women, particularly in relation to violence against women and girls.”

He said the case of convicted rapist Adam Graham, who was initially placed in a Scottish women’s jail, explains why women “want a safe space where they can feel that they are properly supported and protected”.


Writing in The Guardian, Labour Party Chairwoman Anneliese Dodds criticised the Scottish Government’s “cavalier approach” to making it easier to change legal sex and branded proposed safeguards to protect women and girls “simply not up to scratch”.

She stated that “there will always be places where it is reasonable for biological women only to have access. Labour will defend those spaces, providing legal clarity for the providers of single-sex services.”

Earlier this year, the New Statesman’s Scotland editor Chris Deerin reported that the majority of Scottish Labour opposed the Scottish Government’s Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill, but were whipped into silence.

The editor said that when he suggested to a Shadow Cabinet Minister “you could always do what you believe to be the right thing”, they reportedly replied: “There’s always that”. When Holyrood passed the Bill in December, 18 Scottish Labour MSPs voted in favour with only two – Carol Mochan and Claire Baker – against.

Women-only spaces

Last month, MPs across the political spectrum urged the Government to restrict the term “sex” in the Equality Act 2010 to biological sex.

The fiercely contended Westminster Hall debate was triggered by two opposing petitions – each attracting over 100,000 signatures – on whether the law should be reformed in support of sex-based rights.

Those in favour of clarifying the law argue that current ambiguity around the word ‘sex’ makes it more difficult for single-sex services to limit their facilities to biological women.

Also see:


Stonewall Chairman: ‘Male breastfeeding will become commonplace’

NHS-linked mental health platform ‘pushing gender ideology on 10-yr-olds’

Christian MP urges schools to reaffirm the ‘simple truth’ of biological sex

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