Liz Truss calls on Rishi Sunak to back transgender law change

Liz Truss' attempt to change the law could be debated by MPs on Friday. Credit: PA

Liz Truss has called on her successor Rishi Sunak to back legislation to ban biological males from entering female-only spaces.

The former prime minister also wants to ban trans women from competing in women’s sport, and to prevent children from attempting to change their gender. Her attempt to change the law could be debated by MPs on Friday and she said the Conservatives should back it to draw a clear dividing line with Labour in election year. Her backbench Bill, which stands little chance of becoming law unless she secures government support, offers “common sense measures which enjoy widespread support”, she claimed.

The former Tory leader said: “My bill will for the first time define sex in law as biological sex, thereby ending the absurd and dangerous situation where biological males self-defining as females can access girls’ and women’s toilets and so on – as well as sports competitions. “It will provide protection for vulnerable children and teenagers who otherwise could be led down a path of making body-altering decisions that they may come to regret, while giving essential legal clarity to parents and teachers.”

Draft guidance for schools and colleges on how best to support pupils questioning their gender was published by the Department for Education (DfE) in December. It stated that “parents should not be excluded” from decisions taken by a school or college relating to requests for a child to “socially transition”, such as wishes to change names, pronouns and clothing. It added that schools and colleges should make parents aware if their child requests a change – except in the “very rare situation” where parental involvement may raise a “significant risk of harm” to the child. Consultation on the guidance runs until March 12. Ms Truss said: “It is clear that non-statutory guidance in this area is insufficient because extreme advocates of trans ideology have already bragged that it can be ignored or flouted.

Ms Truss, MP for South West Norfolk, stood down as prime minister after just 45 days in the job. Credit: PA

“This is why I am introducing my Bill, so that the law of the land is clear and loopholes are closed.” Under her plan, girls would be treated as girls and boys as boys until they are 18 and there would be a ban on the prescription of hormones to children questioning their gender. “While Keir Starmer and the Labour Party continue to tie themselves in knots over their inability to define what a woman is, my bill offers the government in this election year the opportunity to show that it is only the Conservatives who are prepared to challenge the gender ideologues and provide much-needed protection for children,” she said. Ms Truss’ Health and Equality Acts (Amendment) Bill is on the order paper for Friday but, with two other pieces of legislation listed before it, the attempt to change the law may not be debated.

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