• Saturday, July 20, 2024

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Rowling accuses Labour of abandoning women

The Harry Potter author says she has a ‘poor opinion’ of Starmer and would struggle to vote for Labour this time

Harry Potter author JK Rowling says she would struggle to vote for Labour this time. (Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)

By: Shajil Kumar

JK Rowling has accused Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer of “abandoning women” for their stand on transgender rights.

The 58-year-old Harry Potter author wrote in The Times that she would struggle to vote for Labour, of which she was once a member, because she has a ‘poor opinion’ of Starmer.

She said the Labour leader is “dismissive and often offensive” about feminist concerns.

However, the Labour party has reacted by saying it is the “party of women’s equality, with a manifesto that puts women front and centre”.

Rowling’s observation comes after Starmer’s recent shift in his position on transgender rights.

In a BBC programme, Starmer said he concurred with former Labour leader Sir Tony Blair’s statement,  “Biologically, a woman is with a vagina and a man is with a penis”.

Last year, the Labour leader said “99.9 per cent of women” do not have a penis and earlier in 2021 he had said that Labour MP Rosie Duffield’s statement that “only women have a cervix” was not right.

When asked about his comments on Duffield’s remarks, Starmer said the debate at the time was “very toxic, very divided, very hard line”.

Rowling said: “The impression given by Starmer at Thursday’s debate was that there had been something unkind, something toxic, something hard line in Rosie’s words, even though almost identical words had sounded perfectly reasonable when spoken by Tony Blair.”

She attacked Starmer for failing to defend Duffield, who has suffered death threats.

Duffield, who is seeking re-election in Canterbury, recently claimed she has deployed bodyguards while campaigning.

Rowling said her campaign is not about denying trans women’s rights but ensuring that these are not at the expense of women and girls.

“This is about the right of women and girls to assert their boundaries. It’s about freedom of speech and observable truth,” she added.

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