EXCL Nicky Morgan condemns Lewis Hamilton dress gaffe in trans rights call
Top Tory Nicky Morgan has rebuked Formula 1 star Lewis Hamilton for his controversial remarks about his nephew wearing a dress.
The former women and equalities minister said his claim that "boys don't wear princess dresses" showed there was "a long way to go" on transgender rights in Britain.
Mr Hamilton was forced to apologise after a flood of criticism at the comments in a video he posted on Twitter.
But in an exclusive article for PoliticsHome, Ms Morgan said the comment showed the level of change needed in wider society.
“As Lewis Hamilton’s recent remarks show we’ve a long way to go for people to feel free to express themselves as they want and not as others expect,” she said.
Sophie Walker, the leader of the Women’s Equality Party, also piled into the debate, referencing a recent offshore tax avoidance scandal Mr Hamilton was found to be embroiled in.
Mr Hamilton deleted the video in the wake of the anger it caused and blamed a "lapse of judgement. He also said it was unacceptable to “marginalise or stereotype anyone”.
Elsewhere in the article, Ms Morgan said she hoped 2018 would be the year when transgender rights would be advanced with “empathy and understanding”.
She also called for new legal protections to protect transgender people - including the closure of a loophole that could see transgender company directors "outed".
"The case for this small legislative change is compelling as such a disclosure can have a profound effect on transgender people," she wrote.
"Particularly as transition and history are very personal and should be something that a person chooses to share, rather than is forced to do so by someone else.”