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Men who undergo gender reassignment are women, says Gillian Keegan

Bodies of two women found at house in Nottingham ‘lay undiscovered’ for some time, police say
Published Time: 16.05.2024 - 11:40:34 Modified Time: 16.05.2024 - 11:40:34

Tayfun Salci/Shutterstock Chosen by us to get you up to speed at a glanceGillian Keegan said men who complete the gender reassignment process are women but trans women who self-identify are not

: Tayfun Salci/Shutterstock

Chosen by us to get you up to speed at a glance

Gillian Keegan said men who complete the gender reassignment process are women but trans women who self-identify are not. 

The Education Secretary said in April this year that she would no longer use the phrase “trans women are women”, explaining that her understanding of the issue has “evolved”.

She sought to clarify her position this morning as she was grilled on the subject during an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. 

Ms Keegan said that she had “always known that trans women aren’t women” but sought to draw a distinction between gender reassignment and self-identification. 

She said there is a “huge difference between self-identification, people who want to identify but still have a male body, biologically are male, and then there are a very, very small number of people… who do have and have had gender reassignment and reassignment surgery”. 

Asked if she would say that people who have gone through gender reassignment are women, she said: “Well, this is what we should say. I personally believe if you have gone to that level of, you have got the gender recognition, you have got the reassignment, then you are legally and medically allowed to say that you are a woman.”

You can follow the latest updates below and join the conversation in the comments section here. 

Gillian Keegan said men who complete the gender reassignment process are women but trans women who self-identify are not. 

The Education Secretary said in April this year that she would no longer use the phrase “trans women are women”, explaining that her understanding of the issue has “evolved”.

She sought to clarify her position this morning as she was grilled on the subject during an interview on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. 

Ms Keegan said that she had “always known that trans women aren’t women” but sought to draw a distinction between gender reassignment and self-identification. 

She said there is a “huge difference between self-identification, people who want to identify but still have a male body, biologically are male, and then there are a very, very small number of people… who do have and have had gender reassignment and reassignment surgery”. 

Asked if she would say that people who have gone through gender reassignment are women, she said: “Well, this is what we should say. I personally believe if you have gone to that level of, you have got the gender recognition, you have got the reassignment, then you are legally and medically allowed to say that you are a woman.”

Gillian Keegan said she does not know how widespread the teaching of “inappropriate” material about gender identity is in schools.

Asked to give an example of inappropriate content being taught in classrooms, the Education Secretary told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I’ve seen some materials where they talk about gender identity being a spectrum, there being many different genders looking at you know, trying to get children (to) do quizzes on you know, what’s a different gender identity and what isn’t.

“Ignoring biological sex in the material I saw anyway… and a lot of that material has caused concern.”

Asked how widespread the issue is, she said: “I don’t think it’s widespread, I mean, I don’t know because you know, it’s not something that we’ve gone and done a particular survey of.”

When it was put to her that it was “staggering” she did not know how widespread the issue is despite having created “silence around these issues”, Ms Keegan said “it’s guidance that was introduced in 2019. The review was done in 2021… this very new guidance has been put in and embedded”.

Labour’s general election chief said the party will have to persuade Tory voters to switch sides if it is to win power. 

Pat McFadden said Labour will not win the next election “just by appealing to the people who always voted Labour”. 

He told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: “When someone crosses the floor as has happened a number of times over the years in politics, I think what it says about the party is that it has changed and that there are perhaps people looking at it today in a different light. 

“And I have an obvious message for listeners and for anyone thinking of voting at the next election. We will not win the next election just by appealing to the people who always voted Labour. 

“The only way you are going to win the next election is by appealing to people who haven’t traditionally voted for you and who voted Conservative in many cases in recent elections. 

“That is what the difference between losing and winning is and there is nothing to be ashamed of in that.”

Gillian Keegan said teachers can talk with children aged eight about conception, birth and how babies are made. 

Asked what the correct answer would be if a young pupil asks questions about conception, the Education Secretary told BBC Breakfast: “You talk about conception, talk about birth, you talk generally about how babies are made.

“I mean, I’m not a teacher but teachers are very used to doing that. That’s not where it gets controversial, to be honest. You can talk about that in a very factual, scientific way.”

She said “most teachers” are doing a “brilliant job” at educating children so that they are “prepared and fully equipped for life”.

Gillian Keegan said she has seen evidence that children are being taught in school about “choosing lots of different genders” and that gender is “fluid”.

Asked to give an example of non-anecdotal evidence she has seen of inappropriate material being taught in classrooms, the Education Secretary told BBC Breakfast: “It was actually more of a request as a result of that review to provide more clarity.”

Asked to give a specific example, Ms Keegan said: “There have been materials which I’ve seen… things like choosing lots of different genders and identities, and saying which ones of these are gender identities, gender spectrum, it can be a spectrum, it’s fluid, you can have different genders on different days.”

Asked whether there is evidence of this having been taught in classrooms, she said: “We’ve received evidence with those slides to say that they’ve been taught in classrooms.”

Gillian Keegan said some gender ideologies are “madness” and they should not be taught in schools. 

Ms Keegan will today publish long-awaited relationships, sex and health education guidance which states that sex education should not be taught before the age of nine.

The Education Secretary told Sky News: “You can explore ideologies, you can have different sorts of contested debates, view A, view B, debate them, etc.

“But you can’t say that this is something that people believe and people believe as a fact when it’s not.”

Ms Keegan said there had been “some evidence from some people” that pupils were being taught that there could be “72 genders” and gender could “change daily” as facts.

She said: “Contested views about there could be 72 genders, no, we don’t want our children to be taught things that are very much contested and most of us, when you look at those kind of materials find it, sort of, they’re just madness really. There’s all kinds of strange ideologies in this area and we do not want those being taught in schools, no.”   

: Tayfun Salci /Shutterstock

Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg said there is “far more on which” the Tories and Reform agree than disagree. 

The senior Tory MP told GB News: “And although there are some matters between Reform and the Conservatives on which we disagree, not many actually, all political parties are coalitions and there’s far more on which we do agree, including, I would hope, a desire to keep the socialists out of power.

“A Labour government would do the opposite of what the electorate wants. Its popularity in the polls is a sign of a desire for change, not support for its policies.

Sir Jacob said the answer to how best to stop Labour winning the next election is to “reunite the Tory family”. 

“All of the problems we see in modern Britain; mass migration, small boats, public sector wokery, ESG, economic stagnation, statism, the list goes on, would be increased by socialism and this needs to be stopped,” he said. 

“So the answer is for Conservatives and Reform to reunite the Tory family.”

Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg has doubled down on his call for the Tories to do a general election deal with Reform, arguing it would provide the “clearest roadmap to an electoral victory for toryism”. 

The former business secretary said there was significant policy overlap between the two parties and they should be “working together”. Failing to do so could “hand a victory to Labour on a plate”, he said. 

He told GB News: “The Reform UK electoral contract is fundamentally conservative. It appeals to Conservative voters and members and there is an overlap which suggests we ought to working together.

“Top of Reform’s priorities, cutting government waste, slashing net migration, stopping the boats and boosting the economy. These are all policies that belong in the Conservative Party.

“If the parties remain separate, this could hand a victory to Labour on a plate.”

Nigel Farage said many Tory MPs “turned their heads to the side” and ignored him when he attended the Conservative Party’s annual conference last year. 

Mr Farage told Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg on GB News: “I came to your conference and I was mobbed by conservative activists, donors and members. 

“But most of your colleagues walked past me and turned their heads to the side.”

Nigel Farage said the Conservatives are currently “miles away” from being a party he would be willing to join. 

Mr Farage, the honorary president of Reform, said the Tories would need to shift to a “radical new form of conservatism”. 

Asked what it would take for him to join the Tories, Mr Farage told Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg on GB News: “A Tory party. Not the old school Tory party but the radical new form of conservatism that embraces people from all classes and actually gives the people of this country half a chance and is unashamed about putting the British people before international agreements.

“I think we’re miles away from that at this moment in time.”

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