Jamie Wallis, a Conservative MP who came out as transgender earlier this year, has accused fellow Tory MPs of exploiting and weaponizing trans issues “to score cheap political points” during the latest leadership contest.
MP for Bridgend in Wales, who wrote a letter to Liz Truss called on her to resign as prime minister and described the tactics used during the battle to succeed Boris Johnson as “extremely unpleasant”.
Wallis said the leadership contest, in which Truss defeated main rival Rishi Sunak in September, was a “particularly difficult time”.
In his letter to Truss, he wrote: “It was extremely unpleasant to see senior colleagues exploiting the issue of transgender rights and weaponizing it to score cheap political points.”
Wallis added: “You chose not to challenge this behavior and have now chosen to have the same colleagues sit with you in your government.
“Mistakes can be undone and as a united team I believe we can achieve almost anything. But while you are our leader, I no longer believe this is possible.”
Earlier on Sunday, Suella Braverman, the Home Secretary, suggested she does not consider deliberately calling a trans person by their old name a hate crime.
Responding to a tweet from Leicestershire Police highlighting how people could report hate crimes like this, Braverman wrote on Twitter: “This week I have seen confusion amongst police forces about what constitutes a ‘hate crime’.
“Police need to enforce actual laws and fight actual crimes. Freedom of expression must be protected and a proportionate approach must be taken.
“The public needs to have confidence in their police forces. This sort of thing undermines that.
“Senior police officers who allow this to happen can expect to have to explain to me why they are spending vital resources on politically correct campaigns.”
Elsewhere, members of the Scottish Green Party have voted to suspend ties with their sister party south of the border after backing a motion accusing it of failing to tackle transphobia.
The Scottish Greens voted to suspend formal links with the Green Party of England and Wales (GPEW) at their conference in Dundee until the latter addressed “both issues of transphobia and respect for the Scottish Green Party”.
After the vote on Sunday, Siân Berry, a Green member of the London assembly, said she was saddened by the decision, but added that the party had “a lot of issues left to sort out”.
A GPEW spokesman said: “The Green Party of England and Wales values our relationship with our sister party, the Scottish Greens, and we are proud of the aims and values that we share to promote green policies across the UK.
“The Green Party in England and Wales is clear that trans rights are human rights and we are proud of our strong policies for trans inclusion.
“It is our priority to champion diversity and be a welcoming and inclusive party for all – this means campaigning for the rights of trans people, women and all oppressed groups, as the Green Party has always done.”