Speaker urges tolerance amid Rose Duffield transgender row
Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle has urged the public to exercise “tolerance” towards elected Members with whose views they disagree.
The unprecedented plea from the Speaker came after it was revealed that Labour MP Rosie Duffield will not attend Labour conference due to safety concerns.
The intervention was made during an address at the G7 Speakers’ Conference, which was held in Sir Lindsay’s Chorley constituency.
Duffield said she had experienced a torrent of threats and abuse on social media for her views on transgender politics.
“Parliamentarians, who have been elected to speak up for their constituents, should be able to attend their own party conference without fear of harm,” Sir Lindsay said.
“Too many people have been targeted for their opinion or the office they hold. In order to protect democracy, we need to ensure those participating can do so without threats of intimidation.”
During the Speakers’ Conference, attendees , including US House of Representatives Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and President of the French National Assembly, Richard Ferrand discussed topics including balancing public access to parliaments with keeping members safe, and the role of social media in open parliaments.
Duffield said she decided not to attend Labour Conference after being accused of being “transphobic” for liking a tweet saying: “only women have a cervix”, and suggesting that certain spaces, including domestic violence shelters, should be preserved exclusively for biologically female women.
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