Liz Truss sparks Tory trans rebellion after let down over new schools guidance

Jacob Rees-Mogg says Government trans u-turn endangers children

Liz Truss has blasted the Government’s new trans guidance, warning it “does not go far enough”, and sparked yet another Tory rebellion headache for Rishi Sunak.

Published this morning, Equalities Secretary Kemi Badenoch and Education Secretary Gillian Keegan announced new plans that will ban schools from keeping parents in the dark if their child is “socially transitioning” at school.

The new guidance also gives teachers protection from punishment if they misgender a child, and says there should be a presumption that children will be dealt with according to the sex they were born as during school hours.

However the changes are not binding, and the Government’s top lawyer blocked an outright ban on schoolchildren presenting as trans in the classroom.

There are also carveouts for the new guidance on informing parents, with “exceptional circumstances” allowing for trans children to keep their identity secret.

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READ MORE: New school rules empower parents and protect teachers on gender identity issues

Responding to this morning’s publication, former PM Liz Truss blasted the guidance for not going far enough.

She said: “During the many months we have been waiting for its publication, it has become increasingly clear that non-statutory guidance will provide insufficient protection and clarity, and that a change in the law of the land is required.

“That is why I am today asking the Government to back my Private Members’ Bill which would change the law in this area to ensure children are fully protected.

“I fear that activists and others will be able to exploit loopholes in the guidance and the existing legal framework to pursue their agenda, leaving children at risk of making irreversible changes and with single-sex spaces not sufficiently protected.”

If passed, Ms Truss’s Private Members’ Bill – set to be debated in March – would protect single-sex spaces in law by ensuring “sex” only ever refers to biology rather than gender.

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She also wants “social transitioning”, the practice by trans people of going by a new name or wearing gender-specific clothing, to not be recognised by schools or the state until the age of 18.

Finally, Ms Truss’s Bill would ban puberty blockers and hormone treatment for people experiencing gender dysphoria until the age of 18.

Mr Sunak now faces another major rebellion, with prominent right-wingers backing Ms Truss’s move to crack down on Trans laws.

Among her Bill’s sponsors are Dame Priti Patel, the former Home Secretary, as well as nine other Tory MPs plus the DUP’s Ian Paisley.

The latest rebellion adds to Mr Sunak’s headaches, as he battles to keep the wing of his party on side over the Rwanda deportation Bill.

Announcing the plan, Ms Badenoch said the guidance “is intended to give teachers and school leaders greater confidence when dealing with an issue that has been hijacked by activists misrepresenting the law”.

She said: “It makes clear that schools do not have to accept a child’s request to socially transition, and that teachers or pupils should not be pressured into using different pronouns.

“We are also clear how vital it is that parents are informed and involved in the decisions that impact their children’s lives.”

The plan is non-statutory, meaning schools breaking the rules will go unpunished.

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