Council by-election candidate suspended by Labour over views on biological sex

Laura Pascal Pic: Hackney Labour

The Labour candidate for the Cazenove seat by-election on Hackney Council has been suspended by the local Party for what are claimed to be her ‘controversial views’ on biological sex and gender identity.

Hackney Labour says that they will investigate following a complaint against Laura Pascal from one of the members of the party centred around one of her pinned X/Twitter posts, which is alleged to be ‘anti-trans’.

The by election takes place on Thursday. Pascal’s name has not been removed from the ballot, and if she were to win, she would sit as an independent councillor.

Since the suspension Pascal has removed a pinned tweet at the top of her X/Twitter posts which said: “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 would change that.”

Pascal, whose X/Twitter account says she is a ‘feminist’, ‘policy wonk,’ and Democratic Socialist, had previously worked in the Department of Health as a Policy Manager for Social Markets well as the G7 Stakeholder Engagement lead at Department of Education, for over ten years before her current work as Account Manager at Principle Consulting, a specialist public affairs, policy and campaigns social enterprise organisation.

Pascal was enthusiastically endorsed last November as the candidate for the Cazenove seat, vacated by the current Hackney Mayor Councillor Caroline Woodley. However, it was alleged that Pascal’s views were known by both Hackney & London Labour before she was selected. 

Some welcomed the decision to suspend Pascal. The Hackney Green Party said: “…Calls for Hackney Labour to …to explain why Pascal was selected as a candidate in the first place, have been and continue to be met with silence.” Dave Raval, the Lib Dem candidate said that Pascal held: “…anti-LGBT views.”

The Labour Women’s Declaration, an organization that strongly advocates for women’s sex-based rights within the party, released a statement voicing their opposition to the timing of Pascal’s suspension, and called on Labour to quickly conclude the investigation: “Delays can also turn the subject of the complaint into a victim of drawn-out proceedings …The local Labour campaign has already been negatively affected by the cancellation of campaigning since last Friday and also by a last-minute change only in the last few days by the Council of the location of one of the polling stations…As it’s a marginal seat, this local campaigning may well be needed for Laura to win…We call on our party to sort itself out and to join us in supporting a Labour win on Thursday.”

Pascal has not responded to requests for comment.

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