Lisa Nandy demands apology from Piers Morgan in on-air over transgender rights
- Credit: PA
Labour leadership contender Lisa Nandy has demanded an apology from Piers Morgan over his comments on transgender rights in a heated row on Good Morning Britain.
The Wigan MP was repeatedly asked to say whether she felt it was 'unfair' for athletes who now identify as female to compete in women's sport.
Nandy, who has backed pledges from the Labour Campaign for Trans Rights that call for the expulsion of transphobic members from the party, said it was for sporting bodies to establish a commission to discuss the issue.
But Morgan demanded Nandy give a 'straight answer' and pressed her again, citing the example of New Zealand weightlifter Laurel Hubbard, a transgender woman who is now targeting selection for the Olympics having previously competed as a male weightlifter.
He also posed a hypothetical question over whether world record-holding sprinter Usain Bolt should be allowed to compete against women if he decided to transition.
You may also want to watch:
Nandy accused Morgan of being 'irresponsible' and pitting women's rights against trans rights.
She said: 'It's for sport to have a proper commission to sit down and work out where those boundaries are.
- 1 These are the 322 Tory MPs who voted against extending free school meals to children
- 2 Betty Boothroyd delivers scathing assessment of Boris Johnson's government
- 3 Priti Patel set to hand private firms £28 million in government contracts to deport asylum seekers from UK
- 4 Question Time: Ex-Tory minister accused of making 'sickening' comment about free schools meals row
- 5 The harsh truths learned from halt in Brexit talks
- 6 Downing Street withholds praise for business and local authorities offering free meals to hungry children
- 7 At the upcoming US election, Donald Trump really is toast
- 8 Priti Patel bullying inquiry may never be released, hints Boris Johnson's new civil service boss
- 9 Boris Johnson 'plans to resign' in six months because he can't live on £150k salary
- 10 German MEP tells Boris Johnson he 'owes' Britons a Brexit deal as she urged a return to EU trade talks
'I will not allow this to become a zero sum battle between two groups of people.
'I will tell you why, because you are doing what too many people have done in this debate - you have created more heat and less light.
'It's just simply nonsense, it's a straw man.'
She added: 'I'm giving you a straight answer, I'm saying you are setting up a straw man in order to to pit one group against another.
'It has a real world impact and you need to stop it.
'You are attacking some of the most marginalised people in the country.'
Morgan insisted he was 'not attacking transgender rights' and again demanded Nandy say whether she felt it was fair for trans athletes with 'superior strength and power' to enter in women's competitions.
As the GMB jingle played the show into an advert break, the pair continued to talk over each other and Nandy said: 'I want you to apologise.'
The heated debate started when Morgan had asked Nandy if she agreed with her Labour colleague Dawn Butler, who he said had told the show recently that children are born without sex.
Nandy replied that when babies are born, they are 'designated' a biological sex, which is 'determined by their physical attributes'.
'It's not for me to tell people who they are,' she said.
Morgan asked her about a BBC Teach video that suggests there are more than 100 gender identities, to which Nandy replied: 'You could do with watching one.'
She added: 'People choose their own gender, they choose how to define themselves, I believe.'
When Morgan repeated that he could choose to identify as a 'two-spirit penguin', a claim which drew scores of complaints last September, Ms Nandy joked it would be a 'dramatic improvement'.
The issue of trans rights has become the subject of debate in the Labour leadership contest and even prompted former Labour prime minister Tony Blair to warn the party should not fight the 'culture war' on trans rights.
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.