Belgium’s leading trans minister criticises British PM for transphobia

Belgium’s leading trans minister criticises British PM for transphobia
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Civil Services and State-owned companies Petra De Sutter. Credit: Belga / Jonas Roosens

Belgium’s first-ever transgender minister and Deputy Prime Minister Petra De Sutter has criticised UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak for his transphobic comments made at his party’s conference this week.

"Hurtful and very disappointing" is how De Sutter, Europe’s most senior trans politician responded to Sunak’s words on social media after a video clip of his speech was shared by the BBC.

In the clip, Sunak says: "We shouldn't get bullied into believing that people can be any sex they want to be. A man is a man, and a woman is a woman, that's just common sense," Sunak is seen saying to a room of Conservative Party members.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak attends the European Political Community Summit on Thursday. Credit: Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street

De Sutter took to social media to respond, making the point that these words are "fuelling transphobia and endangering the lives of many people around the world."

"Trans women are women. And in no way a threat to others. Don't join the real bullies, Rishi Sunak," De Sutter said.

The Conservative leader is facing an election in 2024 and is currently trailing Labour in the polls (44% to 24%).

During his party conference, Sunak has been attempting to rally his party around his leadership with slogans such as "It's time for a change, and we are it," after 13 years of his party being in power.

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