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Webchat with Labour leadership contender Emily Thornberry MP on Wednesday February 5 at 12.30pm

(98 Posts)

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BojanaMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 04-Feb-20 12:30:52


We’re pleased to announce a webchat with Labour leadership contender Emily Thornberry MP on Wednesday 5 February at 12.30pm.

Emily Thornberry is Labour MP for Islington South and Finsbury, having been first elected in 2005; before that she was a barrister specialising in human rights law. She has served in Labour shadow cabinets in roles from the environment and defence to Shadow Attorney General, and is currently Shadow Foreign Secretary, in which role she has opposed Saudi Arabian-led interventions in Yemen and condemned the US’s assassination of Qasem Soleimani, highlighting its potential to inflame tensions in the region.

In 2014 she resigned from the shadow cabinet following a kerfuffle about a tweet featuring a photo of a voter’s house festooned with England flags. Emily has run campaigns on affordable housing, proposed ‘radical legislation’ to close the gender pay gap, and is believed to have argued for Labour to change its Brexit policy and support a second referendum.

Please do join the chat on Wednesday at 12.30pm or if you can’t make it, leave a question here in advance.

We've invited and are hoping to have the final two contenders on over the next few weeks; if you missed our previous webchats with Jess Phillips MP and Sir Keir Starmer MP, click on the links to catch up.

As always, please remember our guidelines - one question per user, follow-ups only if there’s time and most questions have been answered, and please keep it civil. Also if one topic is dominating a thread, mods might request that people don't continue to post what's effectively the same question or point. (We may suspend the accounts of anyone who continues after we've posted to ask people to stop, so please take note.) Rest assured we will ALWAYS let the guest know that it's an area of concern to multiple users and will encourage them to engage with those questions.

Many thanks,

Lordfrontpaw Tue 04-Feb-20 13:30:54

Thanks for agreeing to take part.

It was reported in the newspaper that you said that having a woman at the top of the party would be an "advantage" in the contest because Boris Johnson has a "woman problem" and that you would "frighten the life out of" him at future Prime Minister's Questions.

If you were to be chosen leader, how will to ensure that women's human rights are protected?

PigletJohn Tue 04-Feb-20 13:32:22

If you don't get the Leader's job, will you try for Deputy or something else?

ListeningQuietly Tue 04-Feb-20 13:46:21

Leader and Deputy are simultaneous competitions with different candidates.

ListeningQuietly Tue 04-Feb-20 13:47:14


What will you do about the perceived and actual anti Semitism and sexism at the heart of the Labour party organisation?

GeordieTerf Tue 04-Feb-20 13:51:24

Hi Emily,

Thanks for coming on.

I'm a working-class Northern woman. However, like many others, I couldn't bring myself to vote for Labour in the December elections. This was because of the party's sexism, anti-semitism, classism, and tribalism.

To illustrate my points, Labour talks about working class Northeners like we are some kind of pathetic charity case. For example, many of the Labour MPs in this area are still talking about the mines. They don't get that most people have moved on. We want to hear about the future, not the past. We don't want more benefits, we want more jobs.

How will you encourage people like me to rejoin and vote for your party?

Thank you.

rogdmum Tue 04-Feb-20 14:08:42

Hi Emily

I asked this question of Keir Starmer and I’d like to see how you would respond as it is the issue of greatest importance to me and other parents in the same position right now.

My 14 year old daughter recently announced that she identifies as a boy. She falls under the loose description of Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria (ROGD) where adolescents who did not show any signs of gender identity issues as children, develop gender confusion as adolescents. Many of these adolescents are autistic or have suffered from trauma or have serious mental health issues.

Referrals to the Tavistock clinic have skyrocketed from around 100 a decade ago to 2600 last year. The Government agreed to carry out an investigation into the sudden rise, but it appears to have vanished into some hole somewhere.

What will you do to raise awareness of this issue and ensure a proper investigation is carried out?

Cogaidien Tue 04-Feb-20 14:24:21

Thank you for doing this webchat Emily

Do you agree that trans women are no more of a threat to women than any other women, and that the recent narrative and spate of articles put out by a hostile and right-wing print media has increased the danger that all trans people face in society?

TresDesolee Tue 04-Feb-20 15:15:34

Hello Emily. I’m a remain voter and ex-Labour voter who’s really disappointed in how the Labour Party has performed on this issue, from Corbyn being AWOL during the referendum campaign, to the party appearing to be reluctant to pick a side between 2016 and 2019.

But most of all it felt as though just when the country needed Labour to provide an effective, realistic, attractive alternative government, you chose instead to be a self-immolating extremist sect with an unelectable candidate for prime minister.

I’m not saying Labour is solely responsible for Brexit and the damage it will do, but I think you bear a lot of responsibility. Do you agree Labour was off the pitch just when we needed you to be at the top of your game?

(I appreciate that you personally were on the Remain side of the argument, but as a potential leader I’d like to know what you think about the wider question of whether Labour let the country down.)

happydappy2 Tue 04-Feb-20 15:16:02

Hi Emily, do you think it’s fair to women in prison to be locked up with a male bodied person who identifies as a woman? Why are transwomen not kept in the Male estate, with protection if appropriate?

midclegs Tue 04-Feb-20 15:16:57

Hi Emily,

I am seriously worried about gender identity extremism and what I see as an erasure of women's rights - in fact an erasure of what is the essence of 'woman' - in the name of self-ID and indeed the conflation sex and gender.

As a mother I am frightened for my daughter's future.

What are your thoughts on this?

Macbooksdontwork Tue 04-Feb-20 15:27:47

Hi Emily,

Why on earth did Labour give Johnson the early election he craved - what was the plan?

whysohungryagain Tue 04-Feb-20 15:36:42

Hello Emily, thanks for coming on. What's it like to face Boris across the despatch box? Can you give us any tips?

GinUnicorn Tue 04-Feb-20 15:37:30

Hi Emily,

What would you do about the shocking state of postnatal care. Many women are left without food, water and pain medications and wards are overcrowded with partners staying all night (due to the inadequate care) which leaves many women feeling uncomfortable when at their most vulnerable.

I can’t help but feel that if men gave birth postnatal would be improved dramatically. What are you thoughts and how would you improve things to give women dignity and care during childbirth and recovery.

Byebyebicycle Tue 04-Feb-20 15:45:14

Hi Emily, You've spoken about the Uyghur detention camps in China and called out the British government on twitter for staying quiet over what's happening in Hong Kong. If you were to become leader of the Labour party, what actions will you be taking on these issues? I split my time between UK/East Asia and many close friends of mine have been really affected by these issues. I'm really tired of hearing sound bites with no proposed solutions

icechips Tue 04-Feb-20 15:51:58

Hello. Do you think it's important for a Labour leader to be patriotic? What does 'patriotism' mean to you?

eggsandham Tue 04-Feb-20 16:07:19

Hi Emily. Thanks for coming onto Mumsnet. I am a Labour Party member and currently a floating voter. I was quite concerned to see Rebecca Long Bailey's abortion comments. When Keir came on Mumsnet earlier in the week he was unequivocal in his support for a woman's right to choose and said he'd go further and change the law to protect those suffering intimidation at abortion clinics. Can you tell us where you stand on a woman's right to choose? Are you as unequivocal as Keir on this issue?

allieverknew Tue 04-Feb-20 16:13:12

Do you ever so slightly regret your nose tap/fields of wheat moment in your conference speech? grin

Coppersulphate Tue 04-Feb-20 17:26:47

I think you are perceived as being one of the rich, metropolitan London elite. Definitely London centric.
How would go about trying to win back the people in the midlands and north of England who have traditionally voted Labour, but whom voted Tory in the last election?
How how would you win back Scotland?

LangClegsOpinionIsNoted Tue 04-Feb-20 17:53:50

Hi Emily. Do you believe that trans women are women? If so, can you explain to me what qualifies a trans woman as a woman? For example, I know I am a woman because I have xx chromosomes, and produce large gametes. What specifically makes a trans woman a woman?

SunkissesBringBackLangCleg Tue 04-Feb-20 17:59:42

Hi Emily. Do you agree with All-Women Shortlists (AWS)? Why do you think they were introduced, what issue are they addressing and why do you think women (adult human females) are under represented in politics?

MichaelMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 04-Feb-20 18:06:58

Thanks for comments on sex/gender identity etc. That's enough on that topic now - we expect there to be lots of questions for Emily on all kinds of issues and don't want this to become a single issue webchat. Please bear in mind also that we'll be applying the same principle to follow-up questions when we're live tomorrow.

Callimanco Tue 04-Feb-20 18:59:31

Hi Emily
I work with autistic youngsters and have seen a big increase in presenting anxiety and school refusal since the new tougher curriculum and GCSEs were introduced. Anecdotally there is a big increase in anxiety and mental health worries from teens who are not autistic as well.

Do you think it is right that in order to distinguish a few at the very top of the ability range, our more vulnerable teens are being driven to mental health difficulties by the pressure they are put under? What would you do to curriculae and exams if you were party leader (and, ultimately, prime Minister!)

Angryresister Tue 04-Feb-20 19:06:20

Do you think it was right for parliament to approve the theft of womens pensions contributions in the name of equality. How do you think this works to level the playing field ? Do you have any intention of trying to reverse this if the LP ever gets in?

TeddyIsaHe Tue 04-Feb-20 19:06:47

Hi Emily,

I live in Norwich which made the headlines earlier this week for the horrific racist poster displayed in one of the tower blocks.

What is yours and Labour’s plan to tackle blatant and learned racism within our communities? Brexit seems to have given these individuals a belief that they have the right to do these awful things and I can only see it getting worse.

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