Across all the parties . . . there is a whisper network of people who quietly agree with each other, or secretly meet, rather like an underground church or a resistance movement behind enemy lines.
Everyone involved agrees that the gender-critical movement in politics was slow to get going, and didn’t notice the many changes to policy that ministers, public agencies and other organisations were agreeing to without much public fuss – until it almost seemed too late. In the past couple of years, activists have gone into a frenzy of organising to try to catch up and change party and government policy. As Jenkin says, it was easier in the Conservatives, if only because senior figures, including Sunak, saw the topic as a way of undermining Starmer. But the real prize was Labour party policy, because the debate is still largely happening on the left, not in the Tory party.
This organising paid off at the end of July when the Labour national policy forum met to thrash out the basic direction of the manifesto. One of the decisions it reached, supported by the leader’s office, was that the party would no longer have self-identification as its official policy in relation to Gender Reform Act reform. Many LWD activists are angry that there has been no acknowledgement of or apology to all the women in the party who have been abused for merely holding what is now Labour policy, and other than a brief comment from Wes Streeting, no apology to Duffield or other female MPs for the way they have been treated. However, all agree that they should now be in the position where to say that biological sex matters isn’t treated as heresy within the party.