Laura Pascal Suspended; a photo of Hackney Labour members with Laura Pascal in the bottom right corner via Hackney Labour
a photo of Hackney Labour members with Laura Pascal in the bottom right corner via Hackney Labour

UK Labour candidate for the Cazenove ward of Hackney; Laura Pascal suspended over transphobia this week. Including liking anti-trans tweets which compared real life human being Dylvan Mulvaney to racist blackface minstrel shows. But don’t worry she apologised and they unsuspended her!

As reported in The Evening Standard two days ago, we saw Laura Pascal suspended over transphobia from The Labour Party this week. However also as reported in The Evening Standard last night; she has apologised and been reinstated. What has she apologised for? Who knows! It certainly doesn’t say in the Evening Standard article or the statement posted via the Hackney Labour account.

Which is odd given the timeline of events. Laura Pascal has been engaging in anti-trans activity on social media for a while now, her follow list is absolutely stacked with other anti-trans organisers too. Trans people and allies who support UK Labour have obviously pointed this out to the party before – but it wasn’t until an on the ground campaign about Laura Pascal’s transphobia that the party appear to have taken any action.

Specifically; what saw Laura Pascal suspended included liking tweets which compare Dylan Mulvaney to blackface minstrel shows were plastered on surfaces around Hackney; with Laura Pascal’s name in the top right corner and circled for all to see.

Comparing trans women to blackface as a means of discrediting trans identities is not new or even remotely novel. Anti-trans activists on social media have been doing it for close to a decade now and even the bigots who try to keep their hands clean of this stuff are less than a degree of separation from it. See; JK Rowling’s ‘shero’ Magdalen Berns using the term in the same way.

Not only is this obviously and horrifically transphobic – as intended. But its also deeply racist too. Its invoking the spectre of Black people’s suffering and oppression as a tool to attack something they don’t like.  I don’t like Laura Pascal or the anti-trans brigade’s idea of “feminism” – instead of being racist I can just say “this isn’t feminism it’s just rancid transphobia”.

Laura Pascal continued engaging in anti-trans activity on social media right up until her suspension where there was a brief interlude, the Hackney Labour account posted an ‘apology’ from her, and then she continued to engage in anti-trans activity on social media. This time via updating her bio to read how unapologetic she is for being a bigot loser.

The apology posted by Hackney Labour is not in any way an apology for engaging in racist anti-trans activity or indeed any kind of anti-trans activity. It is not an apology for being a bigot. It is just “I’m sorry you got upset” in more words. The funniest part being the use of phrases like “my past social media activity” as if this was years ago and not like… last week.

Hackney Council are now encouraging people to engage in their Equality Plan consultation. Which you’re welcome to do but honestly I am so very done with political parties at this point. You don’t even have to say sorry for being racistly transphobic and they will still let you run as a candidate for them. They’ll happily post your statement and pretend like nothing happened.

I hope that the on the ground campaign shows itself to be effective and that irrespective of whether we see Laura Pascal suspended from Labour again or not I hope she is never put in a position of power. Though truly the power is now in the voters hands who I hope received the message from the street campaigners loud and clear;

Being an obsessed little bigot spreading hateful and racist memes about trans women on the internet isn’t popular outside of your obsessed little bigot circles. Even if it is endorsed by The Labour Party.

More on The Labour Party? How about how not even a month ago Keir Starmer faced a withchunt calling for him to resign over having a transgender son – who may not even exist!