Julie Bindel Julie Bindel

Rosie Duffield’s opponents are intent on destroying her

Rosie Duffield (Credit: Getty images)

Rosie Duffield is a national treasure but try telling that to the trans rights mob. When Duffield won the seat of Canterbury in 2017, she became the constituency’s first Labour MP for 99 years. She has used her position to speak up for women’s rights, most notably during a powerful and moving speech in parliament in the Domestic Abuse Bill debate in 2019. As two feminists campaigning to end the tyranny of men’s violence towards women and girls, we soon struck up a friendship. Yet her decision to fight for women’s rights has landed her in hot water.

Duffield understands all too well that for women and children escaping domestic abuse, or seeking support after rape and sexual assault, being in a safe, female-only environment is crucial. But the so-called progressives in and around the Labour party appear to be happy to use any means necessary to hound Duffield out of her job. She now stands accused of a liking a tweet that her critics say is anti-Semitic. As a result, her name is not currently on the party’s approved list of candidates to stand at the next general election.

What did Starmer do during the Corbyn reign to tackle anti-Semitism or support Duffield in her endeavours?

Duffield has been bullied by trans activists ever since she had the audacity to like a tweet by Piers Morgan in 2020, in which he criticised CNN’s reference to ‘individuals with a cervix’. Duffield later angered her critics more by asking: ‘I’m a ‘transphobe’ for knowing that only women have a cervix….?!’

In the years since, there have been calls to remove the whip from Duffield. Countless articles in the LGBTQ media have accused her of bigotry. There have been endless complaints from LGBT Labour about her so-called ‘transphobia’. Duffield also began receiving death and rape threats on a regular basis. In 2021, she had to bow out of the Labour party conference over fears for her safety.

Then, eight months ago, she dared to like a tweet by the writer Graham Linehan, who was responding to a tweet by Eddie Izzard claiming that, had he lived in Nazi Germany, ‘I’d have been murdered for it’. Linehan – and rightly, so in my view – retorted with a sarcastic, ‘Ah, yes, the Nazis, famously bigoted against straight white men with blonde hair.’

You might well think Izzard was wrong to make that comparison to Nazi Germany in trying to score points in the gender war. But remarkably, in Labour land, it is Duffield who is being investigated. Yes, that’s right, the woman who increased her majority tenfold at the 2019 election – the only Labour MP in Kent – is yet again being hounded, having been accused of ‘Holocaust revisionism’.

Duffield was, of course, one of the very few Labour MPs who spoke out against anti-Semitism under Corbyn. She is also vice-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on anti-Semitism. Even so, the haters are coming for her again.

This latest charge – and the threat that she might be suspended by Labour – has been hanging over Duffield since the end of March. Duffield is now used to being in the firing line. Yet she has continued to work hard for her constituents and speak out about the rights of women. If Duffield survives this, what will they throw at her next? This attack looks like little more than an attempt to destroy a feminist for having the audacity of refusing to be cowed by the misogynists in her party. The investigation should be into the Labour party’s shameful record of woman-hating – not this fine public servant who deserves to be applauded for her tenacity and bravery.