Liz Truss: 'Gross failure of French intelligence' left Macron blindsided
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The Foreign Secretary, who retained her equalities brief when she was prompted last month, said she agreed with comments by Labour MP Rosie Duffield who said that “only women have a cervix”. Arguing that “medical checks are important” in deciding someone’s legal gender status, she risked a fierce backlash from the transgender lobby with her comments.
Speaking to the Telegraph’s Chopper’s Politics Podcast at Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, she said: “You see the absurdity of identity politics last week at the Labour Conference, which is ending up saying ‘women don’t have cervixes,’ or whatever.
“[Ms Duffield] is right, that women have cervixes.
“But more than that, she’s also right to be able to express her view.
“I think when we try and brush things under the carpet and can’t have an open, honest and sensible debate, I think that’s a huge problem for British politics.”
“It wouldn’t be right to have self-identification with no checks.”
Under current rules, transgender people are require to fulfil conditions to receive a Gender Recognition Certificate which legally changes their sex.
Its criteria stipulate that they make a declaration vowing that they will live permanently in their acquired gender.
A doctor’s diagnosis of gender dysphoria and a medical report of any hormone treatment or surgery are also required.
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They must also have lived in their acquired gender for at least two years.
But there has been dismay in many quarters that transgender people do not need to have surgery to legally change their sex.
Others have argued it has made a mockery of professional sport after some male born athletes have competed in women’s events.
“I think we’ve taken the right approach with transgender people,” Ms Truss said.
“We’ve made the process simpler [and] we’ve made the process kinder.
“I have full respect for transgender people, however it wouldn’t be right to have self identification with no checks and balances in the system.”
She added: “Is it a clear process of medical understanding of how that process works, and those medical checks are important.”
Her comments follow a longstanding row in the Labour Party which saw Ms Duffield not attend the party’s conference in Brighton last week.
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