Starmer refuses to apologise to MP in her fight for womens right

PMQs: Sunak attacks Starmer's 'record on women'

Sir Keir Starmer refused to apologise to Rosie Duffield for the way she has been treated by the party in her fight for women’s rights. The Labour MP revealed in the Daily Express last week that she has been “hounded and harassed” over the views about the clash between trans and women’s rights.

She said a clique around the party’s leader had left her isolated after their “non-stop” abuse.

But Sir Keir dodged questions from our paper about why he had not offered her any support or if he wanted to apologise.

He said: “Look, I listen carefully to what Rosie Duffield says, listen carefully to what very many women in the parliamentary Labour Party say and provide support wherever we can and that is the appropriate and the right thing to do.

“I do think that when it comes to issues on which there are strong and different views, we need to create in particular the environment of respect and tolerance, to have the debates that we need to have and I’ve said that openly on a number of occasions.”

Pressed on the issue, he added: “Well, I mean, I obviously talked to Rosie Duffield a number of occasions and I’m very happy to continue those discussions. Of course. 

“I think the most important thing is to create those circumstances of respect and tolerance. There are different views on some of these issues. 

“It doesn’t serve anybody well to have an environment where we’re not respecting and tolerating each other in other terms that we will have that respect and tolerance.”

It comes after Rishi Sunak backed our crusade to protect women’s rights.

The Prime Minister attacked Sir Keir’s “questionable” record on women when the pair clashed in the Commons yesterday (WED).

Mr Sunak said the Labour leader needs to work out “what a woman is” before “preaching” about his party’s proposals to make teaching respect for women and girls part of the national curriculum.

It followed a question by Conservative Tim Loughton who, said: “Given that the Leader of the Opposition apparently doesn’t know what a woman is, that he won’t stand up to defend women in his own party voicing views on women’s rights and, according to his own frontbench, failed to prosecute rapists when he was in charge as DPP (director of public prosecutions), does (Mr Sunak) think the Labour Party are in any position to teach anyone about respect for women, and is irony dead?”

Sir Keir could be seen shaking his head as Mr Loughton spoke in the Commons.

Mr Sunak said the Tory MP was “absolutely right”. 

“The Leader of the Opposition’s record on women is questionable at best,” he added.

“Before Labour do start preaching about this issue, they should work out the answer to one very simple question: I’m certain what a woman is – is he?”

Meanwhile, Conservative MP Angela Richardson quizzed ministers on the “importance of protecting” single-sex spaces.

Equalities minister Stuart Andrew said: “We are committed to maintaining the safeguard that allows organisations to provide single-sex spaces.

“It is important that the principle of being able to operate spaces that are reserved for women and girls.

“The Government is committed to tackling harassment and abusive behaviour by all individuals and ensuring that single-sex spaces are safe.”

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