KEIR Starmer has said that transgender women don’t have the right to use women-only spaces.

In an interview with The Times, the Labour leader was asked about a question posed by prominent gender critical campaigner and author JK Rowling on whether transgender women should be permitted to use “women-only spaces”.

Rowling, who regularly refers to transgender women as “biological males”, said on X/Twitter: “Do biological males with gender recognition certificates have the right to enter women-only spaces? It’s a simple yes/no question.”

When asked by a journalist at The Times to respond, Starmer said: “No. They don’t have that right. They shouldn’t.

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“That’s why I’ve always said biological women’s spaces need to be protected.”

There are currently no laws which prohibit transgender people using spaces such as bathrooms and changing facilities which accord with their acquired gender.

However, in 2022 the Equality and Human Rights Commissioned ruled that organisations such as gyms and women’s refuges could exclude transgender people from single-sex services if they were able to demonstrate that their actions were proportionate and in the pursuit of a legitimate aim, such as “reasons of trauma and safety”.

Gender critical campaigner and Harry Potter author JK Rowling

Yet it remains unclear how Starmer would legislate to stop transgender women from using spaces such as women’s public toilets or whether transgender men would be forced to use women’s bathrooms instead of the men’s.

The comments come after Rowling said she felt “abandoned” by the Labour Party due to her stance on excluding trans women from women’s spaces.

Last week, the Labour leader also said that he was "not in favour of ideology being taught in our schools on gender". 

The term "gender ideology" refers to the existence of both transgender and non-binary people, suggesting that a Labour government would seek to follow the Tories by implementing the current government's draft guidance for schools in England. 

The guidance, which is now subject to a public consultation, says that teachers "should not teach about the concept of gender identity". 

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While the guidance states that secondary school pupils would be permitted to learn about gender reassignment, it's unclear how this would be done without informing children about the concept of transgender identity. 

However, LGBT-inclusive education was rolled out in schools across Scotland back in 2021. 

It seeks to eradicate homophobic and transphobic bullying in schools and therefore includes mention of transgender people. 

Yet Starmer's comments appear to be in opposition to this, suggesting Scottish Labour may roll back on their previous support for LGBT-inclusive education. 

Scottish Labour has failed to respond to numerous requests from The National asking them clarifying their position on the subject.