Trans sport ban U-turn in Australia after 'surgically mutilated and sterilised' claim resurfaces

The Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has U-turned on his support for a bill which would ban transgender women from playing women's sport

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Scott Morrison has renounced his support for a bill that would ban transgender women from playing women's sport, saying his government do "not have any plans" for such a move.

It comes amid criticism after his hand-picked candidate for Warringah, Katherine Deves, was found to have described transgender children as "surgically mutilated and sterilised".

Ms Deves wrote the comments alongside a photograph of a teenager who had undergone top surgery in a historic tweet that resurfaced this week, and has now been deleted.

The Australian Prime Minister has now backpedalled on his position for the Liberal senator Claire Chandler’s private bill.

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison
Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison

Independent MP Zali Steggall has hit back at her opponent's tweet, which Ms Deves has since apologised for, and demanded Morrison distance himself from the candidate.

The sitting member said: “Her appalling and divisive comments were well known before the prime minister selected her, which begs the question – what did he already know?”

Scott Morrison previously praised Chandler for her work on the private bill
Scott Morrison previously praised Chandler for her work on the private bill

Mr Morrison had previously praised Chandler for being “outspoken and brave on these issues” and said he would “have more to say about that at another time".

On Monday, the Australian PM also celebrated Ms Deves' work as co-founded the Save Women’s Sport organisation and said “she’s standing up for things she believes in and I share her views on those topics".

Mr Morrison said: “This is just about, you know, common sense and what’s right. And I think Katherine’s right on the money there.”

Ms Deves has been outspoken about being uncomfortable about the rainbow pride flag and said: “I get triggered by it.”

“Whenever I see it on social media I think ‘What now? What are they demanding now?’ And I grew up with gay relatives and siblings and hung out in Surry Hills and X in Sydney in the 1990s. Lots of LGB family and friends, their movement has been destroyed."

On Wednesday, she defended her “desire to ensure we protect the safety of women and girls and our entire community” but also apologised for the tweet: “However, the language I used was not acceptable, and for that I apologise."

Liberal senator Andrew Bragg has said he thought the bill was unnecessary while Simon Birmingham and Anne Ruston declined to back the Chandler bill.

Bridget Archer MP highlighted she thought it was a “vanity bill” and was not government policy.