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Transgender Labour activist Lily Madigan loses out on Jo Cox leadership place

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PinkNews Exclusive
Transgender campaigner Lily Madigan has not been selected for the Jo Cox Women in Leadership programme.

The teen activist faced national criticism when she applied for the role, particularly from The Times newspaper. 

The paper quoted anti-trans Labour members attacking Madigan for applying to the leadership programme founded after the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox last year.

PinkNews understands her application has been rejected, though organisers behind the programme strongly supported her right to apply.

She told PinkNews: “Whilst I was disappointed, I wasn’t surprised. I’ve only been a member of Labour since June and so hadn’t had much time to build up experience prior to applying in November.

“I’m proud of what I’ve achieved in such a small frame of time, especially since applying but I understand why I still fall short of the standard of such a distinguished programme.

“Fortunately, I have plenty to keep me busy this year including roles locally and a politics degree, as well as other political programmes and speaking engagements.

“I have a lot to offer the Labour Party as well as the Trade Union movement and you can count on my continuing to stand up for disadvantaged members.”

She also vowed to apply for the programme again at the end of 2018.

When she first revealed applying for the course, The Times quoted a Labour member who called it a “monstrous insult” to women.

Times Lily Madigan

Another Momentum member was quoted by the paper saying “women in the party are fuming” that Madigan has applied for a place on the programme.

However 55 Labour activists involved in the Jo Cox Women in Leadership scheme wrote to defend Ms Madigan in response.

The Times declined to publish the letter in spite of extensive coverage criticising the student.

The abuse became so great at one stage that she begged transphobes and sections of the press to end their abuse.

The 19-year-old wrote on Twitter last year: “Please stop. I can’t handle it anymore. I’m so mentally distressed that I can’t sleep or eat or go to school. No one deserves this.

“There’s only so many times I can read lies or my deadname or misgendering. I’m just a teenager. Please just stop. I don’t want to do this anymore.”

Despite the abuse, the teen told PinkNews in an interview late last year that she won’t let transphobes stop her from pursuing her political passions.

“The Labour Party is not only a safe place for transgender people but actively supports them with programmes like the Jo Cox women in leadership programme asking for underrepresented, and self identifying women.

“We also have our leader Jeremy Corbyn calling for changes to the GRA to help trans people, and I’ve had the opportunity to ask him about transphobia in society and media and he gave a very supportive answer.”

Despite the high-profile attacks, Lily says transphobes cannot stop her.

“I’d love to be the first trans MP,” she said. “It’s about time.”

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