JK Rowling accuses Labour of abandoning women

JK Rowling accuses Labour of ‘abandoning’ women

Writer JK Rowling has criticised Labour for “abandoning” women concerned about transgender rights.

The Harry Potter author said she would struggle to vote for Sir Keir Starmer, saying she had a “poor opinion” of his character.

Writing in The Times, Ms Rowling said: “As long as Labour remains dismissive and often offensive towards women fighting to retain the rights their foremothers thought were won for all time, I’ll struggle to support them.

“The women who wouldn’t wheesht (be quiet) didn’t leave Labour. Labour abandoned them.”

She continued: “I’ve been a Labour voter, a member (no longer), donor (not recently) and campaigner (ditto) all my adult life. I want to see an end to this long stretch of chaotic and often calamitous Tory rule. I want to want to vote Labour.”

The issue of transgender rights has long caused issues within the party.

In 2021, Sir Keir described comments by MP Rosie Duffield that only women have a cervix as “something that shouldn’t be said and were not right”.

In a televised debate on Thursday, the Labour leader agreed with one of his predecessors Sir Tony Blair, saying “biologically, a woman is with a vagina and a man is with a penis”.

Last week, Ms Duffield said she had not attended election hustings while running in Canterbury due to “constant trolling” and has spent £2,000 on bodyguards while campaigning.

“Rosie has received literally no support from Starmer over the threats and abuse, some of which has originated from within the Labour Party itself, and has had a severe, measurable impact on her life,” Ms Rowling wrote in The Times.

“The impression given by Starmer at Thursday’s debate was that there had been something unkind, something toxic, something hard line, in Rosie’s words, even though almost identical words had sounded perfectly reasonable when spoken by Tony Blair.”

She continued: “For left-leaning women like us, this isn’t, and never has been, about trans people enjoying the rights of every other citizen, and being free to present and identify however they wish.

“This is about the right of women and girls to assert their boundaries. It’s about freedom of speech and observable truth.

“It’s about waiting, with dwindling hope, for the left to wake up to the fact that its lazy embrace of a quasi-religious ideology is having calamitous consequences.”

Earlier this month, an internet troll who posted online messages threatening to kill Ms Rowling and Ms Duffield was given suspended jail sentences.

Glenn Mullen, 31, of Clyde Road, Manchester, admitted uploading audio clips in Gaelic threatening to kill Ms Rowling “with a big hammer” and said he was “going to see Rosie Duffield at the bar with a big gun”, Westminster Magistrates’ Court heard.

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