Home Media Watch Liz Truss backs biased call for police to investigate Mermaids

Liz Truss backs biased call for police to investigate Mermaids

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Liz Truss backs biased call for police to investigate Mermaids
MP urges police to probe trans charity Daily Mail13 Oct 2022By Martin Beckford Policy Editor

Liz Truss has backed calls from an MP with an anti-LGBTQ+ record for police to start an investigation into Mermaids after the matter was raised at Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday.

Britain's Prime Minister Liz Truss (C) meets England women's football team players during a visit at the Lensbury Resort, Teddington, south west London, on October 10, 2022 following their Euro 2022 victory in July. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau / POOL / AFP) (Photo by STEFAN ROUSSEAU/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Britain’s Prime Minister Liz Truss (C) meets England women’s football team players during a visit at the Lensbury Resort, Teddington, south west London, on October 10, 2022 following their Euro 2022 victory in July. (Photo by Stefan Rousseau / POOL / AFP) (Photo by STEFAN ROUSSEAU/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

During Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, while the UK is ablaze thanks to the Tories, Tory MP Miriam Cates used her platform to ask Truss, “Over the past week, serious safeguarding failures by the children’s charity Mermaids have come to light, with revelations that the charity sent breast-flattening devices to young girls behind their parents’ backs, promoted harmful medical and surgical procedures to children and hired a trustee with links to paedophile organisations and a digital engagement manager who posted pornographic images online, including of himself dressed as a schoolgirl.

“For years, despite whistleblowers’ raising the alarm, Mermaids has had unfettered access to vulnerable children. Does my right hon. Friend agree that it has taken far too long for these concerns to be taken seriously, and does she also agree that it is high time there was a police investigation into the activities of Mermaids and its staff?

Truss replied, “It is very important that under-18s are able to develop their own decision-making capabilities and are not forced into any kind of activity.

“On the subject of the investigation that my hon. Friend raises, of course, those matters should be raised and looked at properly.”

At the end of 2021, she accused Stonewall and Mermaids of teaching children “dangerous and contested extreme ideologies”.

It is, sadly, always projection with these people.

One could also ask why, if Cates and her chums feel Mermaids should be reported by police they haven’t actually reported them to the police. Could it be because there is nothing reportable going on?

Cates was also previously on the board of The Philadelphia Network, an organisation that allegedly offered anti-gay conversion therapies.

You can read more about Cates’ involvement in the New Social Covenant Unit here.

The Daily Mail covered this matter in Thursday’s edition of their paper with numerous factual errors contained within their report.

MP urges police to probe trans charity Daily Mail13 Oct 2022By Martin Beckford Policy Editor LIZ Truss has backed calls for a thorough investigation into transgender youth charity Mermaids after an MP urged that the police are called in. The Prime Minister agreed that the controversial organisation should be ‘ properly looked at’ after a Tory backbencher accused it of failing to keep children safe. Mermaids is already facing the prospect of a Charity Commission investigation over allegations that it was sending chest binders to children as young as 13 against their parents’ wishes. And one of its trustees quit after it emerged he had spoken at an event organised by a paedophile support group. Some public sector organisations including the Department for Education, NHS trusts and councils are now removing links to the charity – which supports transgender young people – from their websites. Raising the controversy in Prime Minister’s Questions for the first time, Tory MP Miriam Cates said: ‘For years, despite whistleblowers raising alarm, Mermaids have had unfettered access to vulnerable children. ‘Does my right honourable friend [Miss Truss] agree it’s taken far too long for these concerns to be taken seriously and [that] it is high time for a police investigation into the activities of Mermaids?’ The Prime Minister replied: ‘ It’s very important that underage teens are able to develop their own decisionmaking capabilities and not be forced into any kind of activity. ‘On the subject of the investigation she raises, of course ‘Concerns have been raised’ those matters should be properly looked at.’ The Charity Commission said: ‘Concerns have been raised with us about Mermaids’ approach to safeguarding young people. ‘We have opened a regulatory compliance case and have written to the trustees.’ Mermaids has not responded to the claims in Parliament but yesterday said it was reducing the hours of its helpline because of ‘ abuse towards staff and volunteers’.
MP urges police to probe trans charity
Daily Mail13 Oct 2022By Martin Beckford Policy Editor
The Daily Telegraph also covered it:

Truss backs calls for police inquiry into Mermaids trans charity The Daily Telegraph13 Oct 2022By Hayley Dixon SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT ‘It is very important that under18s are able to develop their own decisionmaking capabilities’ ‘Mrs Cates’ attitudes are welldocumented and this is not the first time she has criticised Mermaids’ LIZ TRUSS has supported calls for a police investigation into the Mermaids trans charity after The Daily Telegraph revealed it had provided breast binders to children. Miriam Cates, the Tory MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge, said that recent reports highlighted “serious safeguarding failures” and asked the Prime Minister whether she agreed that it “is high time for a police investigation into the activity of Mermaids and its staff ”. Ms Truss said that “of course those matters should be raised and properly looked at”. The Telegraph investigation disclosed that the charity has been sending potentially dangerous breast binding devices to children behind their parents backs and discussing with teenagers how puberty blocking drugs are safe and “totally reversible”. The Charity Commission has already started an investigation as part of a “regulatory compliance case” over concerns about the organisation’s “approach to safeguarding young people”. Ms Cates has now called for the police to examine the revelations, including “that the charity sent breast flattening devices behind their parents back, promoted harmful medical and surgical procedures to children”. She also told Prime Minister’s Questions: “For years, despite whistle-blowers raising alarms, Mermaids have had unfettered access to vulnerable children. Does my right honourable friend agree that it has taken far too long for these concerns to be taken seriously and does she also agree that it is high time for a police investigation into the activity of Mermaids and its staff ?” The Prime Minister responded: “It is very important that under-18s are able to develop their own decision-making capabilities and not be forced into any kind of activity. What I would say on the subject of the investigation she raises, of course those matters should be raised and properly looked at.” Ms Truss’s spokesman later said that investigations were “a matter for police who are operationally independent”. Mermaids said last night: “Mrs Cates’ attitudes to LGBT organisations are well-documented and this is not the first time she has criticised Mermaids. We will continue to provide crucial support for trans and gender-diverse young people and their families, and remain accountable to our service users and the public at large through the Charity Commission and other regulators.” Mermaids is based in Yeadon, near Leeds, and has offices in London. West Yorkshire police has not yet responded to a request for comment. The Metropolitan Police, which has said that breast binding could be classed as child abuse, said that the “supply of a breast binder is not a criminal offence”. The force said that they “support transgender and gender diverse individuals who freely choose to wear a breast binder” but if “concern regarding the use of a breast binder is reported to police, it may be assessed jointly with social services”. It added: “We would like to reassure individuals who choose to wear a binder that they are not committing a criminal offence.”
Truss backs calls for police inquiry into Mermaids trans charity
The Daily Telegraph13 Oct 2022By Hayley Dixon SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT

The Times also covered it:

Truss signals support for trans charity investigation Mario Ledwith Liz Truss appeared to back a police investigation into Mermaids, the charity that supports transgender and non-binary people, after a series of damaging revelations about the organisation.  The prime minister said that questions raised about the service, which is already the subject of a Charity Commission investigation, should be “properly looked at” after being asked about the prospect of police inquiries.  Mermaids is being scrutinised by the charity regulator over claims that it handed out potentially harmful breast binders to girls as young as 13 without their parents’ knowledge.  It has also been revealed that Jacob Breslow, one of its trustees, was linked to an organisation that aims to help paedophiles “live in truth and dignity”.  Miriam Cates, the MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge, raised “safeguarding concerns” about the charity during prime minister’s questions.  She asked: “Does my right honourable friend agree that it has taken far too long for these concerns to be taken seriously and does she also agree that it is high time for a police investigation into the activities of Mermaids?”  Truss replied: What I would say on the subject of the investigation she raises, of course those matters should be . . . should be properly looked at.”  Cates has repeatedly spoken about transgender rights in the past, claiming that they raise questions of “enormous significance to the rights and safety of women”.  The comments come as the Department for Education removed Mermaids from its list of mental health and wellbeing resources for schools. A reference to the transgender charity’s advice line was also taken out of the department’s guidance document yesterday, Schools Week reported.  The department said that it was removing the reference as a precaution following the start of the Charity Commission investigation.  Mermaids has denied allegations of safeguarding failures and said that it is the victim of a “smear campaign”.
Truss signals support for trans charity investigation
Mario Ledwith

You can learn more about what is really happening with Mermaids here and here.

None of the Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph nor Times had any other trans-related stories on Thursday although the Times did also feature a letter from Tanya Carter and Tracy Shaw from the Safe Schools Alliance that read, “Sir, We were alarmed to read of the Department for Education’s planned “compromise” on “trans” policies (“Ministers seek compromise on transgender advice for schools”, Oct 10).

“It is irresponsible to compromise when it comes to child safeguarding. Single-sex facilities in schools are provided to ensure dignity, privacy and safety, and any exceptions may put students at risk.

“Furthermore, there is no serious scientific data to support the teaching of gender identity theory as fact, or any studies demonstrating the benefits of irreversible treatments involving experimental drugs and extreme surgeries.

“Schools and their regulators do not have the professional competence to diagnose gender dysphoria or the right to promote partisan political beliefs.”

Transgender advice Sir, We were alarmed to read of the Department for Education’s planned “compromise” on “trans” policies (“Ministers seek compromise on transgender advice for schools”, Oct 10). It is irresponsible to compromise when it comes to child safeguarding. Single-sex facilities in schools are provided to ensure dignity, privacy and safety, and any exceptions may put students at risk. Furthermore, there is no serious scientific data to support the teaching of gender identity theory as fact, or any studies demonstrating the benefits of irreversible treatments involving experimental drugs and extreme surgeries. Schools and their regulators do not have the professional competence to diagnose gender dysphoria or the right to promote partisan political beliefs.  Tanya Carter and Tracy Shaw Safe Schools Alliance
The Times Letters Page 13 October 2022