Sir Keir Starmer is accused today of ‘ducking’ the trans-rights row that helped trigger the shock resignation of SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon.
The Labour leader faced claims that he was ‘scared stiff’ of raising the issue because his own party backed the SNP’s controversial trans agenda.
The row came after party sources confirmed that in a keynote speech to Labour’s annual Scottish conference today, he would be making no reference to the controversy.
Instead, Sir Keir will seek to capitalise on Ms Sturgeon’s departure by appealing to Scottish voters who had given up on his party, declaring: ‘A Labour government is coming.’
Labour, which has just one MP in Scotland compared to 56 in Tony Blair’s heyday, hopes the SNP leader’s resignation will speed up the party revival north of the border.
Sir Keir will seek to capitalise on Ms Sturgeon’s departure by appealing to Scottish voters who had given up on his party, declaring: ‘A Labour government is coming’
Labour has been plagued by claims that it too had a ‘woman problem’, as its members in the Scottish Parliament voted for the gender law and after Sir Keir last year appeared reluctant to say whether women can have penises
But the Tories seized on his ‘trans omission’ last night.
Bassetlaw MP Brendan Clarke-Smith said: ‘Once again, even after the SNP’s awful law brought down Nicola Sturgeon, Keir Starmer is ducking the trans row and won’t stand up for women and girls.
‘For Labour, whether a woman has a penis or not is still a question they can’t answer. Starmer is scared stiff of this issue.’
The surprise announcement that the dominant figure in Scottish politics is to stand down after almost a decade at the helm of her party and as Scotland’s First Minister has been billed as a huge blow to the independence movement. It comes with the SNP currently under a police investigation over how more than £600,000 ring-fenced for independence campaigns had apparently gone ‘missing’ from the party’s coffers. Ms Sturgeon’s decision also comes hard on the heels of the huge row over her decision to force through new rules making it easier for people as young as 16 to change their legal gender.
She denied last week that her resignation was caused by the popular backlash against the controversial new law, which has been blocked by the UK Government at Westminster.
Labour has been plagued by claims that it too had a ‘woman problem’, as its members in the Scottish Parliament voted for the gender law and after Sir Keir last year appeared reluctant to say whether women can have penises.
But a Starmer spokesman hit back last night, saying: ‘The only ducking going on here is proper governance of Scotland by the Tories and the SNP. Scottish people are crying out for help with energy bills, for opportunities for their children, and for a health service that’s there when they need it.’
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk