LABOUR has accused the Government of "exacerbating the pain and the hurt in the LGBT+ community".

Shadow women and equalities secretary Dawn Butler told the Commons: "This reform of the Gender Recognition Act was promised in 2016. The minister doesn't need to look at it carefully, the minister just needs to expose what came out of the consultation and amend the act as promised.

"And the minister needs to stop kicking the can down the road. There has been a 37% increase in hate crime against transgender people. The minister is just exacerbating the pain and the hurt in the LGBT+ community."

Women and equalities minister Liz Truss said: "I completely condemn the violence against trans people, and the Home Office and my colleague the minister is doing a lot of work to combat this."

She said: "I won't be rushed into it. I'm very keen that we protect single sex spaces and vulnerable women, and we don't rush into reform before we've had the full, proper discussion."

Lib Dem equalities spokeswoman Christine Jardine said trans people are facing abuse and violence. She said the Government is the "most right wing government in decades", and asked when there would be progress on the Gender Recognition Act.

Labour MP Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield) said International Women's Day could become a bank holiday to raise issues of inequality.

He told the Commons: "Would the minister agree with me, that many women in my constituency believe that International Women's Day could be made a public holiday?

"It would raise the issues, all the issues we've been talking about today, and give it focus. Would he agree to that, would she agree to that?"

Truss replied: "I have to say my focus on this job is not on bank holidays, it's on getting more women into work and getting them up the career ladder once they are in jobs.

"But if the honourable gentleman is offering to take on some work while women have a day off, I'm sure we'll be very interested in that.

Tory MP Eddie Hughes (Walsall North) said: "The construction industry is notoriously male dominated.

"So will the minister join me in congratulating Caroline Gumble, who has just become chief exec of the Chartered Institute of Building, of which I am a very proud member?"

Truss replied: "I agree completely with my honourable friend. You know, as well as Bob the builder, we need Brenda the builder, and I congratulate his constituent on her fantastic achievement.

"In every walk of life, it should not matter whether you're a woman or man. It should matter how good you are, the effort you put into the job, and that is what we champion on this side of the House.

"We believe it's about your qualities as an individual, not what group you belong to."