Hackney: Labour candidate for council by-election suspended

Screenshot 2024 01 13 at 13.44.27

Screenshot 2024 01 13 at 13.44.27

Labour’s London region has suspended the party’s candidate for a closely-contested council by-election in Hackney following allegations of “transphobia“.

Party members were told by email early this morning by Hackney’s borough organiser that “all planned campaign sessions” in the Cazenove ward had been cancelled, including those that were to have taken place today.

A Labour source has confirmed that the candidate, Laura Pascal (front right in photo), has been “administratively suspended”, which means a complaint has been made about her by another party member and a decision taken to investigate it.

The timing of the suspension means there is not enough time to nominate a different candidate in time for the by-election, which will be held next Thursday. This means that if Pascal wins, she will sit as an independent councillor. The source confirmed that Labour will do no further campaigning for her.

Pascal was selected to contest the seat after it was vacated by Hackney’s new directly elected Mayor, Caroline Woodley (front left in photo) following her victory in a mayoral by-election last November.

Labour won all three Cazenove ward seats at the full borough election held in May 2022, but Liberal Democrat candidates finished close behind and have won there in the recent past.

Pascal’s views about biological sex and gender identity were known well before she was selected as the Cazenove candidate and are expressed in a pinned post on X/Twitter, published on 30 July last year.

She wrote: “My embodied reality as a member of the oppressed sex class is experienced in a world where biology has a significant impact. You can believe what you want but I believe that biological sex is a real thing and neither law or some kind of new scientific concensus wld change that.” In her X/Twitter profile she describes herself as “feminist”.

Social media critics of Pascal have characterised her selection as Labour embracing a “new wave of horrific transphobia” and have accused her of “bullying trans women“. In social media exchanges, Pascal has said: “trans women are not female. By definition they are male”.

On London understands there have been multiple complaints about Pascal, including alleged racism as well as transphobia.

Support and its writers for just £5 a month of £50 a year and get things for your money too. Details HERE. Threads: DaveHillOnLondon. X/Twitter: On London and Dave Hill. Photo from Laura Pascal’s X/Twitter feed

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