‘Toilets for every body’: Labour conference boasts of gender-neutral facilities – but urges people to get help if they feel ‘unsafe’ – after Keir Starmer’s wavering over whether a woman can have a penisBy James Tapsfield, Political Editor For Mailonline and Shaun Wooller Health Editor For The Daily Mail
Published: 12:57, 8 October 2023 | Updated: 20:33, 8 October 2023
Labour activists are using gender-neutral facilities at the party’s conference – but have been urged to contact staff if they feel ‘unsafe’.
The conference venue in Liverpool has signs for the cubicles boasting of ‘toilets for every body’.
A message says the aim is to have ‘facilities where everyone can feel safe and respected’.
‘If you spot a problem or feel unsafe speak to a member of the ACC Liverpool team,’ the signs add.
The Labour conference venue in Liverpool has signs for the cubicles boasting of ‘toilets for every body’
A message says the aim is to have ‘facilities where everyone can feel safe and respected’
Women’s rights and trans rights activists were both staging protests outside the Labour conference today
It is not clear how much influence Labour had over the conference centre’s policy.
However, Keir Starmer has struggled to give a clear account of his position on gender identity issues.
He was ridiculed for claiming earlier this year that 99.9 per cent of women ‘haven’t got a penis’.
Baroness Emma Nicholson, a Tory peer who has campaigned for women’s rights, including single sex hospital wards, accused Labour of failing to stand up for women.
She said: ‘I’m very concerned that these gender-neutral toilets could become the new normal under a left-wing Labour government.
‘Women will be appalled and shocked by this move and will strongly oppose it.
‘Its misogyny, allowing women’s spaces and dignity to be invaded like this.’
Campaign group Sex Matters said it received a complaint about the toilets from a Labour member at the conference, who told them: ‘I couldn’t believe it when I walked in and saw that the men’s and women’s signs had been covered up with boards saying ‘these toilets are for everyone’.
‘I walked into the men’s by accident and there were urinals there. It was empty at the time but think what it would be like to walk in to see men exposed.
‘Women prefer toilets that are single sex. We don’t want to go to the loo and think a man is in the cubicle next to us.
‘There are women with religious needs who can’t be near to men.
‘It is like a kick in the teeth to women in the Labour party that the feelings and needs of a few male people who see themselves as women have been placed above the needs of women.
‘Women are bottom of the pile again with regard to what we need.’
Maya Forstater, executive director of Sex Matters, said: ‘Surveys show that most people prefer single-sex toilets.
‘Women in particular don’t feel comfortable sharing with men, and find that when they do the facilities are not as clean.
‘No one objects to unisex facilities being provided as well, but what they do not want is to have women and men’s toilets replaced.’
Toilets for Every Body is a scheme that is being piloted at the ACC Liverpool and operated by the LCR Pride Foundation, an LGBT+ charity working in the city.
Conservatives have pinpointed access to women-only spaces as a key dividing line where Labour seems out of step with public opinion.
Rishi Sunak upped the pressure at Tory conference last week by insisting that ‘a man is a man and a woman is a woman’.
A Deltapoll survey for the Mail on Sunday found of 35 per cent of voters agreed that a woman was ‘a human being characterised by female biology’, while just 14 per cent said that ‘trans women are women’.
The use of woke terms such as ‘pregnant person’ was supported by just 11 per cent, with 81 per cent preferring to talk about a ‘pregnant woman’.
Rishi Sunak upped the pressure at Tory conference last week by insisting that ‘a man is a man and a woman is a woman’
Conference attendees have been urged to contact staff if they feel ‘unsafe’.
Keir Starmer is gathering activists for what could be the last conference before the election