David Davies 'threatened with police action' for holding meetings on transgender concerns

David Davies 'threatened with police action' for holding meetings on transgender concerns

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Conservative MP David Davies says he has been threatened with police action because he held meetings in parliament on transgender concerns. 

He held a meeting in Portcullis House on Tuesday morning for the campaign group Fair Play for Women, who are opposed to proposals to make it easier for transgender people to legally change gender.

“As an MP I’ve held three meetings like this,” he told talkRADIO.

“The second one resulted in me having to spend a long time with the serjeant-at-arms [the official responsible for security matters in Commons], going through what we were trying to do as if we were trying to do something outrageous.

“I then had a three month investigation by the standards commissioner.

“I was threatened by a police investigation by another Conservative member of parliament.”

In March, Lib Dem MP and LGBT rights campaigner Zoe O'Connell reported Mr Davies to the standards commissioner, saying he was charging for tickets for an event that he held on behalf of campaign groups in the House of Commons.

The complaint was not upheld.


Journalists asked to leave

There is currently a public consultation taking place on whether changes should be made to the Gender Recognition Act, which ends on October 19.

Campaign groups say making it easier to legally change gender could be abused by predators wanting to gain access to women’s spaces, and are pushing for spaces like toilets, changing rooms and women’s refuges to remain segregated by biological sex.

Fair Play for Women spokesperson Nicola Williams invited selected press to the Tuesday meeting, but they - including talkRADIO - were asked to leave by Mr Davies.

He said that the politicians in attendance would not want to be "grilled" by journalists.

Labour MP Tonia Antoniazzi, who arrived before the meeting had started, said she would leave if the press remained in the room.

Journalists were not permitted to observe the meeting, but were allowed in ten minutes bfore the end.

Conservative MPs Maria Caulfield and Andrew Selous attended, as well as Labour MPs Karin Smyth and Paul Williams.

Caulfield and Selous said some of their constituents had written asking them to attend, and Caulfield said that she would write to women and equalities minister Penny Mordaunt, who first brought the consultation about, to ask her to extend it.


Consultation 'flawed'

A tweet from David Davies, who has been accused of transphobia by LGBT+ Conservatives

Mr Davies called the consultation “flawed”.

“It’s based on the recommendations of the equality committee. They certainly didn’t go out and take evidence from women’s groups on what the impact might be of allowing people to change their gender without any checks and balances,” he said.

“Ideally I’d like to see it stopped and the whole process restarted after the government and ministers have had a proper conversation with women’s groups about their rights to protection.”

He said MPs who chose to attend the meeting may not have wanted to “justify themselves to the press”.  

“It’s very difficult to raise this issue,” he added.

“I’ve already done that I’ve taken the heat for it and I’m happy to continue doing so.”

LGBT+ Conservatives, the official LGBT group in the party, have criticised Mr Davies for his views in the past. They have been contacted for comment.