Labour councillor, 68, quits over transgender plans

Labour councillor, 68, quits over plans to let transgender people access women’s toilets and changing rooms

  • Ann Sinnott stood down from Cambridge City Council over transgender policy 
  • Council ‘fails to recognise female-only facilities needed by women as generality’
  • 68-year-old councillor also said council ‘insidiously dismantled’ women’s rights 
  • Claimed term ‘transgender’ opened female-only facilities to ‘higher numbers’

Ann Sinnott said women are ‘socialised to put others first, to be nice, to not make a fuss’ but that they ‘also fear for their safety’

A Labour councillor has resigned over a policy allowing transgender people to use women’s lavatories and changing rooms.

Ann Sinnott, 68, stood down from Cambridge City Council, saying: ‘I do not want to be a member of a council that fails to recognise that female-only facilities are needed by women as a generality.’

Miss Sinnott added that the council ‘insidiously dismantled’ women’s rights. In a letter to the council chief executive, she said there were between four and 37 people in Cambridge who have had gender reassignment surgery, based on national figures.  

But she said using the term ‘transgender’ in the policy opened up female facilities to ‘infinitely higher numbers’ than the term ‘gender reassignment’. 

The latter would only allow those having sex-change surgery, or those going through this process.

It is argued by some that failure to make this discrepancy allows men to abuse the policy and enter women’s spaces simply by saying they identify as female.

Cambridge council’s chief executive said the policy would be discussed in October (file image)

This June, campaigners flagged up the wording, saying it could be breaking the equality act by stating that gender, instead of sex, is a protected characteristic. 

Gender is seen as a social term while sex is an anatomical term.

In her letter, Miss Sinnott said women are ‘socialised to put others first, to be nice, to not make a fuss’ but that they ‘also fear for their safety’.

She wrote: ‘In central Cambridge public toilets… a man in male clothing aggressively asserted his right to be there to shocked women, who all turned silently away.’


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It comes amid a wider debate over transgender rights. In June, ten women stormed the men-only bathing pond in Hampstead, North London, to protest against proposed reforms to the Gender Recognition Act. 

They claim the changes could allow predatory men to masquerade as trans women to prey on females.

Antoinette Jackson, Cambridge council’s chief executive, said the policy would be discussed in October.

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