PCC says trans women should be banned from female spaces for security
Police commissioner says ‘biological men’ should not be allowed into women’s prisons and female toilets as he hits out against Stonewall’s ‘potentially dangerous’ transgender ‘ideology’
- Philip Wilkinson, new PCC for Swindon and Wiltshire, claims ‘biological men’ should not be able to use women’s prisons or toilets over security fears
- Veteran also hit out at LGBT charity Stonewall’s ”potentially dangerous’ ideology
- He has faced a backlash, including from one transgender councillor in Wiltshire
A recently elected public servant has claimed claiming transgender women are ‘biological men’ who should not be able to use women’s prisons or toilets over security fears.
Conservative Philip Wilkinson made the comments just weeks after he was made Swindon and Wiltshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner.
Mr Wilkinson had particularly strong comments for LGBQT charity Stonewall as he slammed the group’s ‘exclusive, divisive and potentially dangerous’ ideology.
He had announced on Facebook his support for Lisa Townsend, the newly elected Conservative police commissioner for Surrey, after she too accused Stonewall of being a ‘dangerous’ lobby group that ‘threatens the safety of our women and girls’.
Mr Wilkinson wrote: ‘Like her, I do not believe that the vast majority of women in this country wish to allow biological men into their private enclosed spaces such as women’s prisons and female toilets.
‘That is a matter of public security and not inclusiveness.
‘I will not therefore support any organisation that promotes such a narrow and exclusive agenda and if necessary, that includes Stonewall.’
Swindon and Wiltshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Wilkinson (pictured) sparked fury after claiming transgender women are ‘biological men’ who should not be able to use women’s prisons or toilets over security fears
Mr Wilkinson released his Facebook post three days after after being ‘asked to make a statement about trans issues’.
He went on to say: ‘Now this really should be exciting. Good job I’m used to being shot at! Watch this space.’
He also replied to one comment clarifying his position on transgender rights, stating: ‘If I said I was pro trans I would be shot at. If I said I was anti trans I would be shot at. On some issues you cannot win.’
Army Colonel Wilkinson served with the Royal Artillery, Commando, Parachute Brigades and Special Forces for more than three decades.
His military tours included 11 years of counter-insurgency experience in the Middle East and Northern Ireland.
The police force he now presides over, Wiltshire Police, had been a member of Stonewall’s diversity champions scheme and paid an annual fee of £2,500 for the last four years.
Unlike others, including bordering Avon and Somerset Police, the force has not invested in further training programmes for its employees.
However, now the force has confirmed that it is no longer a member of Stonewall’s Diversity Champions and instead signed up to the ‘Inclusive Companies Scheme.’
Mr Wilkinson posted his lengthy statement on his Facebook page at 6.38am on Wednesday, indicating that his words were his own personal beliefs.
Mr Wilkinson wrote: ‘As a proud citizen of the UK, let alone as the Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire, I will therefore not support any organisation that promotes a narrow ideology that is exclusive, divisive and potentially dangerous’
In a further excerpt from it, he wrote: ‘I believe that we should treat every other human being with respect and courtesy irrespective of their sex, gender or sexual orientation.
‘I believe passionately in inclusiveness and diversity and Martin Luther King’s ethos that we should treat every individual by what is within and not the colour of their skin.
‘As a proud citizen of the UK, let alone as the Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire, I will therefore not support any organisation that promotes a narrow ideology that is exclusive, divisive and potentially dangerous.
‘I therefore agree entirely with the sentiments expressed by Lisa Townsend, the new Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey.’
Mr Wilkinson released his Facebook post three days after ‘testing the water’ with a post about being ‘asked to make a statement about trans issues’
Last month, Ms Townsend launched an unprecedented attack on the Stonewall lobby group, accusing it of promoting a dangerous transgender ideology that puts women at risk.
The new PCC for Surrey also demanded the county’s police force drop the LGBQT charity as an official partner.
Trans councillor Helen Belcher, 57, who represents Corsham on Wiltshire Council, slammed Mr Wilkinson’s statement and said it created ‘real exclusion and division’.
She said: ‘With his statement, the Commissioner has demonstrated that he doesn’t know the law as it currently stands.
‘Trans women have been legally included in women-only spaces for decades. This has been upheld by recent court decisions.
‘The real exclusion and division is being created by individuals, such as the Commissioner, who, by their public statements, seem to want women’s rights reversed to the position in the 1950s, where how you look is more important than how you behave.
‘The police should be there to protect everyone, irrespective of sex, sexuality or gender identity.’
Last month, Lisa Townsend (pictured) launched an unprecedented attack on the Stonewall lobby group, accusing it of promoting a dangerous transgender ideology that puts women at risk
Explaining Wiltshire Police’s decision to leave Stonewall, a force spokesman said: ‘Wiltshire Police is committed to increasing diversity within the force so that we can best reflect the communities we serve.
‘We are determined to cultivate an inclusive environment which champions the rights of every single officer, staff member and volunteer.
‘Following research undertaken by our equality, diversity and inclusion team earlier this year, we took the decision not to renew our membership with Stonewall and, like some other police forces, we are members of the Inclusive Companies scheme and are working towards our aspiration of becoming part of the Inclusive Companies Top 50 Employers Index.’
A Stonewall spokesman said: ‘At Stonewall, we’re working towards a world in which all lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer people are able to thrive as themselves.
‘Trans people have always been able to use facilities which match their gender, and it is inappropriate to assume that trans people’s presence in these spaces may pose a risk to others simply because they are trans.
‘We’re proud of our work towards trans equality, as well as our work to make a better world for all LGBTQ+ people.’
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