Labour MP apologises to JK Rowling for sexual assault remark

Lloyd Russell-Moyle accused author of using her experience against trans people

Labour frontbencher Lloyd Russell-Moyle has apologised to Harry Potter author JK Rowling after accusing her of using her own sexual assault as “justification” for discriminating against trans people.

Russell-Moyle, a shadow environment minister, made a public apology to Rowling after he wrote a piece in the Tribune saying he felt she had used her past experience to pass comment on a group of people who were not responsible for it.

Rowling has been accused of transphobia after saying that only women menstruate, and later, in a blog post, for saying she is deeply protective of women-only spaces as a result of being sexually assaulted.

Rowling said in response: “I accept [Lloyd Russell-Moyle’s] apology in the hope that he’ll dig a little deeper than hashtags and slogans. He might then understand why increasing numbers of people are deeply concerned about UK Labour’s position on women’s rights.”

LLoyd Russell-Moyle
LLoyd Russell-Moyle: ‘It was wrong of me to suggest that she used her own dreadful experience in anything other than good faith.’ Photograph: Kirsty O’Connor/PA

In his apology tweeted on Sunday morning, the Labour MP for Kemptown and Peacehaven, said: “Whilst I may disagree with some of her analysis on trans rights, it was wrong of me to suggest that she used her own dreadful experience in anything other than good faith.” He said her disclosure was heartfelt and must have been hard to do.

Daniel Radcliffe, the star of the Harry Potter film series, and Eddie Redmayne, who leads the cast of Fantastic Beasts, have both criticised Rowling over her comments on transgender issues.

Four authors resigned from Rowling’s literary agency after claiming that the company refused to publish a statement in support of transgender rights, while a charity that supports transgender children has urged Rowling to meet some of the young people it works with.


Kate Proctor

The GuardianTramp

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