Party defends Dodds after LGBT+ Labour condemns her meet with LGB Alliance

© UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor

A Labour spokesperson has said it is “right” for Anneliese Dodds to meet “with a whole range of organisations” in her role as Shadow Equalities Secretary, following criticism by LGBT+ Labour of her decision to meet with the LGB Alliance group.

The LGB Alliance said in a post on X on Tuesday that it had met with Dodds, who also serves as Labour chair, and had a “productive discussion about our work”.

LGBT+ Labour – one of the party’s affiliated socialist societies – then said it was “incredibly disappointed” at Dodds’ decision to meet the group, which it accused of being a “fringe group which undermines our fight for LGBT+ equality”.

Speaking to Westminster journalists this afternoon, a Labour Party spokesperson said: “Anneliese in her role as Shadow Equalities Secretary meets with a whole range of organisations, and it’s right that she does so. And she meets with stakeholders from across the spectrum on those issues.

“It was a private meeting like she’s had with multiple other organisations, and I think there is a very clear distinction between meeting with an organisation and that not being the same thing as endorsing an organisation.”

On accusations that the group is “trans-exclusionary”, the spokesperson said: “We’re not going to get into characterising different organisations, but we do think it’s right that politicians engage with a range of opinions within a subject.”

LGBT+ Labour said in a statement on X on Tuesday evening: “We’re incredibly disappointed in Anneliese Dodd’s [sic] decision to meet with the LGB Alliance, a fringe group which undermines our fight for LGBT+ equality.”

“We’ll be seeking an explanation from Anneliese’s office, as well as reassurances on the Labour leadership’s policy commitments to LGBT+ people – including trans people – on hate crime, healthcare, conversion therapy, gender recognition reform and more,” the statement added.

Willow Parker, recently elected trans officer of Labour Students, also posted on X: “Deeply disappointed to see that Anneliese Dodds has met with the so-called ‘LGB Alliance’,” calling it an “anti-trans hate group” and demanding Labour give reassurances to trans members and clarify the nature of the meeting.

But Kate Barker, chief executive of LGB Alliance, said: “LGB Alliance has always been clear that we are happy to meet and discuss the rights of same-sex attracted people with any politician, regardless of affiliation. We are pleased that our commitment to respectful dialogue is share by the senior leadership of the Labour Party.”

LGB Alliance is a charity and campaign group which says it exists to promote the rights of and “provide support, advice, information and community” to lesbians, bisexuals and gay men, “as recognised by biological sex”. It was formed partly in opposition to what it called Stonewall’s “new emphasis on ‘gender identity'”, and has previously faced an unsuccessful bid to see its charitable status removed by critics.

Labour Women’s Declaration, another campaign group which describes itself as “holding Labour to account on women’s sex-based rights”, said Dodds should “of course” meet with such a leading charity, and said LGBT+ Labour’s “tantrum” showed “why conflict of rights has been taboo to discuss”.

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