Words: Will Stroude
Tory leadership hopeful Dominic Raab say he doesn't "want to make it easier" for transgender people to transition.
The former Brexit Secretary, who is one of eleven candidates who've officially announced their intention to stand for the Conservative Party leadership following Theresa May's resignation, was asked by ITV News whether he would make it easier for people to change gender were he to become prime minister.
Using language which immediately appeared to position transgender people as a 'threat', Raab, 45, said that he while he wanted a society that was "tolerant" to the LGBT community, he was 'worried' about the "vulnerability" of others.
"I certainly don't think I want to make it easier. I think you need to be very careful with young people of that age," he said.
Dominic Raab says he wants a society that is 'warm to the LGBT community' but doesn't think he would make it easier for people to change their gender, if he became prime minister https://t.co/97wVNes3IQ pic.twitter.com/T4tqsCNjcs— ITV News (@itvnews) May 29, 2019
"I want everybody to feel comfortable in their own skin but I do worry a little bit with this debate, whether it's in relation to vulnerable women in prisons or children in school, that we take a very careful, balanced approach.
"Because we need to be a society which is 'small-L' liberal, if you like, tolerant and open and warm to the LGBT community, but I also worry about the vulnerability of other people, whether it's women in prisons or children at a very tender age at school."
Raab's comments come after the government launched a public consultation last year to look at making the process of obtaining new birth certificate less intrusive and bureaucratic for transgender people.
Meanwhile, fellow Tory leadership candidate Esther McVey has said that parents should have the "final say" over the LGBT-inclusive lessons in schools which have sparked homophobic protests in Birmingham.