Labour candidate could become first transgender MP

A Labour candidate at the upcoming general election could become the first openly transgender MP in parliament. Sophie Cook is standing for Labour in the East Worthing & Shoreham constituency. The seat is currently occupied by Conservative Tim Loughton, who has a majority of almost 15,000. Announcing her standing on her website, Sophie, a former RAF engineer and television presenter who came out as trans in 2015, says that she was terrified that coming out would cause her to "lose everything, [her] career in football, [her] family and most of all, [her] children." If elected, Sophie would become the first openly transgender person to serve in the UK parliament.

"When I came out I faced a choice, to either hide or to stand up and try to make a difference."

In her statement, she wrote abut the things that inspired her to stand, including the current government's austerity measures, which she says "have left whole communities desperate and lost.

"I’ve been out on the streets, speaking to voters and they feel isolated and unrepresented by the Tory government."

Sophie writes that she has received positive feedback from constituents. "The reception to me, as a trans woman, has been positive with many declaring that it’s time for greater diversity in parliament.

"The time is right, the time is now and we must all work together to achieve a more caring, more diverse society where everyone can live free from fear and where no one suffers from prejudice regardless of their gender, sexuality, gender identity, race, religion, disability or wealth."

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