JK Rowling slams Labour for 'letting down' MP Rosie Duffield

JK Rowling slams Labour for ‘letting down’ trans row MP Rosie Duffield amid fallout over Keir Starmer aide ‘briefing against her’

  • JK Rowling has slated the Labour party for briefing against one of its own MPs
  • Audio emerged yesterday of aide Matthew Doyle talking about Rosie Duffield

JK Rowling has launched a broadside at the Labour Party over its treatment of its MP Rosie Duffield – after it briefed against her over the weekend.

MP for Canterbury Ms Duffield said last week that she felt that her campaigning for women’s rights had left her ‘cold shouldered’ by Keir Starmer’s Labour.

Yesterday audio of Starmer’s aide Matthew Doyle emerged where he briefed claims that her constituents wanted her to spend ‘more time in Canterbury’ instead of with Ms Rowling. 

The Harry Potter writer said last night: ‘Rosie Duffield, an ex-assistant teacher, single mother and survivor of domestic abuse, won Labour a seat they thought was unwinnable. Post-Corbyn, she was returned to parliament with an increased majority. This is how Labour repays her.’

JK Rowling with Ms Duffield at a lunch at the River Cafe for women’s rights campaigners

JK Rowling aired her views on Labour’s treatment of the MP on her 13.9million follower Twitter

Ms Rowling had organised a lunch at the River Cafe last year for women’s rights campaigners, including Ms Duffield.

It came after a women’s rights campaign called ‘Respect My Sex if you want my X’, which ‘encourages voters to ask politicians for their views on sex and gender identity’.

Ms Rowling later published a picture of her posing with Ms Duffield on Twitter, with the caption: ‘Two ex-single mums now united for women’s rights.’

In response, Ms Duffield said she had ‘never had the pleasure of meeting’ the adviser, who was apparently recorded ‘loudly ranting about me’ in Parliament on Friday.

SNP MP Kirsten Oswald and Kaukab Stewart, one of the party’s MSPs, were among those spotted near to the ‘decapitate TERFs’ placard

Harry Potter author J.K.Rowling, who has clashed with Ms Sturgeon over the Scottish Parliament’s gender identity legislation, raised concerns about the signs

She said that ‘while he was overheard loudly opining on my whereabouts and choice of friends’, she was meeting people in her constituency. ‘On a more serious note, when women are considered difficult, these statements are obviously designed to undermine us,’ she wrote on Twitter. ‘Sow a little seed of doubt… rumours that might catch on. Politics is nasty. But think on. I am used to so much worse.’

She also said there were a ‘couple of inaccurate comments from this chap’ as she had been in to see Sir Keir only once, in September 2021, and claimed the leader had not been to Canterbury.

Earlier in the day the author also raised concerns over placards seen at a pro-trans rights rally after SNP politicians were pictured near a ‘decapitate TERFs’ sign.

Police have launched a probe after receiving a report about one of the signs at the rally on the city’s Buchanan Street, amid claims it represented a ‘hate crime’ and a ‘public order offence’.

SNP MP Kirsten Oswald and Kaukab Stewart, one of the party’s MSPs, were spotted near to the ‘decapitate TERFs’ placard – which used the acronmym for ‘trans-exclusionary radical feminist’.

Nicola Sturgeon spoke out against the banners on display at the Glasgow demonstration on Saturday

Ms Oswald has condemned the ‘horrific’ and ‘unacceptable’ sign and said it ‘wasn’t there when I joined the demo’.

And Ms Stewart has also said she was ‘not aware of these hateful signs’ when she attended the protest.

Nicola Sturgeon insisted it was not ‘credible’ to suggest that SNP politicians condoned the views expressed in offensive placards.

The SNP leader told a press conference: ‘All politicians have an obligation to contribute to debate that is civil and respectful and that’s a responsibility I take seriously and would expect all members of my government and all elected members of my party to take seriously as well.

‘That said, I have attended many demonstrations over my many years in politics now and probably on all of them I’ve seen placards or signs that would not align with my views on the topic of the demonstration.

‘Certainly, from the images I have seen, that was the case at the demonstration on trans rights on Saturday.

‘The placards that I have seen in absolutely no way, shape or form accord with my views and I would condemn the way in which those views were expressed and the views that were expressed there.

‘And I don’t think it is fair or credible to suggest that the elected representatives who were there in any way share or condone those views.’

The Scottish First Minister also highlighted how she herself had been the subject of ‘completely unacceptable’ placards during demonstrations against her gender identity legislation.

‘I think we’ve all got a responsibility to express ourselves, particularly elected representatives, in ways that we think are appropriate and I would certainly say that applies to me and others within my party,’ she added.

But Ms Sturgeon later clarified she was not trying to draw ‘an equivalence’ between offensive placards about her and those that appeared to encourage violence against women.

Saturday’s demonstration came in the wake of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s decision to use a Section 35 power to block the Scottish Parliament’s Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill from becoming law.

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