Rishi’s plans to alter Equality Act puts trans rights at risk


According to reports, the latest Tory Prime Minister Rishi Sunak plans to revise the 2010 Equality Act, endangering transgender rights in the UK. 

Section 7 of the 2010 Equality Act protects those with the characteristic of “gender reassignment”, whether or not a person has undergone medical transition or obtained a Gender Recognition Certificate (GRC). If Sunak goes ahead with his planned changes, self-identification for trans people will have no legal force, barring trans women, for example, from important women-only facilities, including bathrooms and shelters. 

The Telegraph reported on November 1st that Sunak’s changes to the Equality Act intend to “make it clear that sex means biological sex rather than gender”. 

This attack on the protective legislation comes amid a new wave of transphobia and an attitude of hostility towards trans people in the UK. After plans under Theresa May to expand transgender rights by simplifying the lengthy and arduous process of obtaining a GRC were dropped, transgender people were left out of the Conversion Therapy Ban, trans athletes were actively excluded from sports, and other anti-trans legislation has been enacted.

The creation of a climate of fear in women-only spaces villainizes a particularly vulnerable group in society, an easy target for the PM to marginalise to distract from the UK’s ongoing crisis. 

Within the PM’s attack on trans protection, Sunak’s plans to “let children be children” by narrowing guidance for schools in Relationship and Sex Education classes, believing that outsourced organisations such as Stonewall are teaching young people “contentious” issues regarding gender.  


In July this year, Sunak condemned the “woke nonsense” he believes the Equality Act allows:

“Too often, existing legislation is used to engage in social engineering to which no one has given consent.”

“The worst offender in this regard is the 2010 Equality Act, conceived in the dog days of the last Labour government.”

“It has been a Trojan horse that has allowed every kind of woke nonsense to permeate public life.”

“It must stop. My government would review the act to ensure we keep legitimate protections while stopping mission creep.”


The PM has received backlash from other MPs for these actions, with London Mayor Sadiq Khan tweeting “The new Prime Minister must not cave and surrender the human rights of trans people. Trans rights must be protected.”

It is unconfirmed whether Sunak will follow through with these proposals.


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