Tory leadership contender Dominic Raab says it should not be easier to change your gender

The former Brexit secretary said he would "probably not" describe himself as a feminist

Andrew Woodcock
Political Editor
Wednesday 29 May 2019 19:43 BST
Dominic Raab alludes to abolishing Equalities Office and that he's 'probably not a feminist'

It should not be made easier to change your gender, a contender for the Conservative leadership has said.

Dominic Raab said he wanted a society which is “tolerant and warm” to the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community, but said it was important to be “very careful” about young people who express a desire to change gender.

The former Brexit secretary, who is one of 11 declared candidates to replace Theresa May as Tory leader and prime minister, said that he would “probably not” describe himself as a feminist.

Speaking to ITV News, he stood by his controversial claim that some feminists are “obnoxious bigots”, saying: “The point I was making is that sexism is wrong and it's wrong if it's said about a woman or about a man.

“I think equality is too precious a value for us to put up with double standards. I do think we should call hypocrisy out in political debate and political life."

Asked if he regarded himself as a feminist, he replied “probably not”, but added: “I would describe myself as someone who's a champion of equality and meritocracy."

Who could replace Theresa May as Tory leader?

Mr Raab was asked whether as prime minister he would want to make it easier for someone to change their gender.

He responded: “I certainly don't think I want to make it easier. I think you need to be very careful with people of that age.

“I want everyone to feel comfortable in their own skin. But I do worry a little bit with some of this debate - whether it is in relation to vulnerable women in prisons or children in school - that we take a careful, balanced approach because we need to be a society which is small-L liberal, if you like, which is tolerant and warm to the LGBT community.

“Whereas I also worry about the vulnerability of other people, whether it is women in prisons or children at a very tender age in school, so we need to get the balance right.”

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