Keir Starmer insists he wants to respect people who 'struggle with gender' when probed on whether women can have penises

The Labour leader repeatedly said that 'biology matters' for the vast majority of women'

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Sir Keir Starmer has set out Labour's position on gender and identity issues, saying "biology matters... for the vast majority of women" but that "there are a small number of people who are born into a gender who they don’t identify with."

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer meeting with pensioners in Stevenage about the rising cost of living and the impact it is having on those with fixed incomes.
Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer meeting with pensioners in Stevenage about the rising cost of living and the impact it is having on those with fixed incomes.

This comes as the Labour leader came under fire for failing to answer the question of whether a woman can have a penis.

Asked earlier this month if a woman can have a penis, Sir Keir said: "I’m not… I don’t think we can conduct this debate with… I don’t think that discussing this issue in this way helps anyone in the long run."

Sir Keir sought to re-clarify the party's position, saying: "Biology matters for the vast majority of women, that’s very very straight forward.

"But there are a small number of people who struggle with gender identity, and I want to respect and support them."

MP Rosie Duffield speaking during the first LGB Alliance annual conference at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in central London.
MP Rosie Duffield speaking during the first LGB Alliance annual conference at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in central London.

The Labour leader, on two occasions, referenced the Conservative MP Jamie Wallis, who yesterday released a statement saying they were transgender.

"Jamie Wallis, who is a Conservative MP, who bravely spoke out yesterday demonstrating that struggle", said the MP for Holborn and St Pancras.

"I don't want to stand in the way of supporting and respecting those that find themselves in that position."

Sir Keir repeated similar answers repeatedly during the interview, appearing to laugh when repeating his discussion.

He was also asked in the interview with ITV whether or not the party had a position on gender and identity issues.

Sir Keir responded: "I think I’ve set it out now twice so I think that’s clear enough."

Labour MP Rosie Duffield has been previously been criticised for her views on gender.

Ms Duffield came under fire for her opposition to “male-bodied biological men” being allowed to self-identify as female in order to access women-only spaces such as prisons and domestic violence refuges.

She opted not to attend the Labour Party conference in September 2021 after receiving threats and being branded transphobic, which she denies.

Sir Keir later said the Kent MP had been wrong to say “only women have a cervix”.