Call for Leadership on Minorities' Rights

Cllr Tim Bick, Lib Dem leader of the Opposition on Cambridge City Council issued the following statement in response to the resignation of Labour Cllr Ann Sinnott: 

"It is incredible that the Labour Party chooses not to comment when one of its councillors resigns her seat on the council and then quits her party, bitterly criticising their counci's policy.

"Transgender people using public toilets for their new gender is something that has been happening for many years, here and elsewhere. It is supported by the 2010 Equalities Act and previous legislation and is essential if transgender people are to be treated fairly. 

"Former Cllr Sinnott’s sudden outburst is inexplicable, given that society at large has simply taken enlightened social progress in its stride. Council officers tell me there is a complete absence of complaints or issues on a day to day basis. Calm, tolerant Cambridge has prevailed. The outburst is very damaging because it generates baseless fears which “other” a minority group. In a democracy it is vital that we have leadership which stands up for minorities. 

"The council should be saying there will be no turning the clock back on progress made. There doesn’t need to be a committee meeting to decide to say this, if it’s true. I only hope it is. But from the council’s Labour leadership we just have an awkward silence and a strange desire to change the subject. It feels like this is just one more minority rights issue which Labour are at sixes and sevens about.  

"For some years Cambridge has been a beacon for positive attitudes to transgender people, with former Cllr Jenny Bailey being the country’s first transgender mayor and Cllr Zoe O’Connell and former Cllr Sarah Brown in leadership roles in the city. I am proud of the Lib Dems’ role in this. But Labour appears to be a real muddle with it now."

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