The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has defended a Labour MP who was criticised for liking a tweet by broadcaster Piers Morgan who criticised US news network CNN for making reference to "individuals with a cervix" rather than simply calling them "women".
After receiving immediate social media backlash for her agreement with Morgan's sentiments, Rosie Duffield, the member for Canterbury and Whitstable MP, doubled down: "I’m a ‘transphobe’ for knowing that only women have a cervix….?!' she asked. "The implication that one cannot describe oneself as a woman without inviting a pile-on is beyond ridiculous now. Almost 52% of the UK population are women."
Responding to her comments, the Labour Campaign for Trans Rights tweeted:
"We are shocked and saddened at the inaccurate, transphobic comments of Rosie Duffield MP. We are calling on our party to take action on this incident, and firmly oppose the climate of transphobia which has helped to cause it."
Following the controversy, Justin Welby, who rarely weighs in on Twitter feuds, tweeted his support:
"I know Rosie Duffield who is a brilliant constituency MP for Canterbury as well as brave, honest, kind and passionate for justice. She does not seek to demean others. To troll her is simply cruel and wrong," he said.
Author J.K. Rowling recently came under a similar attack for criticising an article with the phrase 'people who menstruate' in the title, saying they should have simply written 'women'.