Labour Leader Wriggles as Radio Host Asks 'Can a Woman Have a Penis?'

© AP Photo / Alastair GrantFILE - Leader of the British Labour Party Keir Starmer gestures as he makes his keynote speech at the annual party conference in Brighton, England, Sept. 29, 2021.
FILE - Leader of the British Labour Party Keir Starmer gestures as he makes his keynote speech at the annual party conference in Brighton, England, Sept. 29, 2021.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.03.2022
Several female Labour MPs have struggled on air to give a definition of a woman, fearing they would anger transgender rights activists who insist that 'trans women are women' on the basis of self-identification alone.
British opposition leader Sir Keir Starmer has again struggled to define womanhood amid the trans rights row that has tripped up other members of his party.
The Labour Party leader was stumped on his Monday morning Call Keir guest appearance on LBC Radio with host Nick Ferrari.
"Do you think it's fair that transgender women with all their physical advantages, are allowed to compete in women's sport?" asked one caller, identified as Iris from Aberdeen.
Iris referred directly to the case of US college swimmer Lia Thomas, born William Thomas, who transitioned at the end of high school and has now won women's swimming competitions, saying she was "about three foot taller than all the other swimmers".
Ferrari pointed out that Thomas could end up representing the US in the women's competition at the Paris Olympics in 2024.
"I think it's for the sporting bodies to decide for themselves how they deal with this, it throws up all sorts of difficult questions," Starmer replied, sidestepping the question. "It probably needs more discussion," he added.
"But in your book she is a woman?" Ferrari pressed, noting that the Labour leader had been referred to the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) over his insistence that "trans women are women."
Ferrari quickly challenged Starmer over Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling's recent charge that the Labour leader could "no longer be counted on to defend women's rights", after he and other members of his shadow cabinet failed to answer the question of what defines womanhood.
"Of course we can be called on to defend women's rights," Starmer insisted. "I spent a lot of my working life dealing with violence against women and girls first-hand, and I know from that experience, just how important it is to fight for women and fight for equality."

"All adult females are women, of course they are," Starmer conceded — a statement of biological fact which saw fellow Labour MP Rosie Duffield accused of "transphobia" and subjected to threats ahead of last September's party conference.

But he added: "We have had legislation in this country which makes it clear that in some circumstances, particularly at the moment under the law when you've gone through a process, you can be recognised in the gender of your choosing, that's been the position for over a decade now."
The Gender Recognition Act of 2004 allows transsexuals to be legally recognised as members of the opposite sex if they first have a medical diagnosis of gender dysphoria and live as a member of their desired sex for two years without any requirement to undergo sex-change surgery or hormone replacement therapy.
But LGBT activists have lobbied in recent years for the rules to be relaxed further to allow individuals to obtain the official Gender Recognition Certificated (GRC) solely on the basis of "self-identification". Women's organisations have raised the alarm over such moves, warning they could potentially allow violent or sexual predators access to women-only spaces.
A video grab from footage broadcast by the UK Parliament's Parliamentary Recording Unit (PRU) shows Britain's main opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer speaking during Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs), in the House of Commons in London on January 19, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 27.03.2022
Keir Starmer Reported to Equalities Watchdog Over 'Trans Women Are Women' Remarks: UK Media
Starmer said he backed "reform" of the law, but also insisted: "I am an advocate of safe spaces for women."
"That comes from discussions with many many women on this and also from my own experiences of those violence against women and girls cases," he said. Asked if he was talking about female changing rooms, Starmer said he was more concerned about "refuges for women who have been subjected to violence."
But Ferrari was not finished, asking Starmer bluntly: “So a woman can have a penis?"

Last September, the Labour leader claimed it was "not right" to say only women have a cervix.

"Nick I’m not… I don’t think we can conduct this debate with…" Starmer stammered, prompting the host to ask "have I offended you?"
Andrew Marr Show in London - Sputnik International, 1920, 26.09.2021
Labour Leader Says It's 'Not Right' to Say Only Women Have a Cervix
"I just don’t think that discussing this issue in this way helps anyone in the long run," the opposition leader finally said, before accusing those who disagreed with him of "intolerance".
"I do find that too many people in my view retreat or hold a position which is intolerant of others — and that’s not picking on any individual at all — but I don’t like intolerance, I like open discussion," Starmer said.
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