Warning of 'serious implications' for free speech.
Labour plans for tougher hate crime laws if they enter power could lead to criminal charges for misgendering trans people, a think tank has warned.
The Institute of Economic Affairs suggested that proposals revealed in 2021 and reinforced more recently by Sir Keir Starmer create 'serious implications' for freedom of speech around trans rights reports the Mail Online.
Speaking at the Pink News awards last year the former director of public prosecutions said it was 'time for tougher hate crime laws so every LGBT+ crime is treated as an aggravated offence'. He was outlining plans first set out in 2021 to bring in 'tougher sentences for those who commit hate crimes targeted at someone's sexual identity, transgender identity or disability'.
Currently only hate crimes with a racist or religious motive are classed as aggravated offences, which attract longer sentences. Report author Marc Glendinning, head of cultural affairs at the think-tank, said: 'Many supporters of transgender ideology do not aim to win the debate but rather prevent debate from occurring.
'Maintaining free speech in this area, as in others, is essential if we are to defend a liberal society based on rationality rather than coercion.'
Labour hit back, was a source saying the report was 'nonsense from the organisation that created the blueprint for Liz Truss's disastrous kamikaze budget which crashed the economy and saddled working people with a mortgage bombshell.' Announcing the party's hate crime policies in 2021, party chairwoman Anneliese Dodds specifically singled out trans rights as an area where there needed to be 'vital changes to hate crime laws'.
Mrs Dodds, who is also the shadow women and equalities secretary, added: ''All victims of hate crime have a right to expect equal treatment under the law, but that's not the case today. So Labour will fix this injustice by bringing in tougher, fairer hate crime laws so that every category of hate crime is treated as an aggravated offence – and those who commit hate crimes against LGBT+ and disabled people can no longer get away with softer sentences.' The IEA study says that while the 'transgender ideology movement' has successfully got the public sector to adopt its own beliefs and language, it has also tried to suppress opposing viewpoints.
Campaigners have forced gender-critical people out of their jobs, had their public speaking engagements cancelled and even got police to record 'non-crime hate incidents' against them simply because they deny humans can change sex. Mr Glendinning added: 'Maintaining free speech... is essential if we are to defend a liberal society based on rationality rather than coercion.'
His study was backed by Labour backbencher Graham Stringer, who likened gender ideology to the claim made by Humpty Dumpty in Alice In Wonderland that words mean whatever he chooses them to mean.
He said: 'There are many in the transgender debate who follow in the Humpty Dumpty tradition. 'Men become women and women become men via a simple declaration. If words can have any meaning debate becomes meaningless.
'You end up with authoritarianism, which is what transgender ideologues desire, with them in authority.'