Former MP Ann Widdecombe has slammed Brighton and Hove City Council over a "ludicrous and confusing" letter sent to parents asking them to help children choose their gender ahead of starting school.
The letter sent by the council asked parents to "support your child to choose the gender they most identify with." It requested they speak to the school office if their child has “another gender identity” other than male or female.
A statement from Councillor Emma Daniel said the letter had been sent as part of "calls from families and schools to be more inclusive," but it has drawn criticism from across the nation. Widdecombe called the council's decision "almost unbelievable."
"To ask a four-year-old if they are a boy or a girl is plain daft," she told Paul Ross. "You may much later on develop some sort of problem, but at four, you won't know what the problem is. You won't be aware of it."
At age four, children have yet to learn basic skills like reading or writing. The former Shadow Home Secretary blasted the council because she claimed the letter will bewilder those who are still innocent and unaware of gender issues.
"They are approaching this [gender identity] with an absolute lunatic mentality," she added. "It's bad enough when you're doing it with older children.
"But with young children, it's unforgivable. You don't ever deliberately confuse a child."