Female prison officers have been raped by inmates who self-identify as trans women, ex-Tory minister Rory Stewart claims
- Mr Stewart revealed he was ‘instinctively worried’ about the situation
- He added ‘the rights of women to feel safe’ were most important in his view
- The Ministry of Justice said there were policies in place to manage the risk
Female prison officers have been raped by male-bodied inmates who self-identify as trans women, a former Minister has revealed.
The disclosure was made by Rory Stewart, the ex-Tory Cabinet Minister who oversaw prisons in 2018 and 2019 and who is now running as an independent candidate for Mayor of London.
It will fuel questions about policies that have allowed criminals with male bodies to describe themselves as female and demand to be housed in women’s prisons.
Speaking out: Former Prisons Minister Rory Stewart said there was an issue of those self-identifying as trans women raping female prison officers
Mr Stewart told GQ magazine: ‘When I was Prisons Minister, we had situations of male prisoners selfidentifying as females then raping staff in prison.’
The claim is the first public reference to trans women assaulting prison staff in women’s jails, but it follows warnings that allowing malebodied criminals into female jails puts women in danger.
It was reported last year there are up to 1,500 inmates who describe themselves as transgender among the 90,000 prisoners in England and Wales – raising concerns that some are claiming to be trans to get access to women’s jails.
In 2018, a transgender inmate was found to have sexually assaulted women in a female prison.
Karen White, born Stephen Wood, had been sent to HMP New Hall near Wakefield, West Yorkshire, despite having had neither surgery nor hormone treatment – and despite being a convicted paedophile on remand for grievous bodily harm, multiple rapes and other sexual offences against women.
In response to concerns about the situation, the Prison Service last year established a dedicated wing for housing some trans inmates at women’s jail HMP Downview near Banstead, Surrey.
In the interview with GQ, Mr Stewart was asked about so-called ‘self-ID’ policies, which could mean anyone who identifies as a woman is allowed to go into female-only spaces, such as changing rooms and toilets.
He replied: ‘I’m instinctively worried about that, partly because when I was Prisons Minister, we had situations of male prisoners self-identifying as females then raping staff in prison.
‘So I think if somebody is biologically male, particularly in an environment like a prison, we shouldn’t allow that to happen.
‘We have to be pretty cautious about how we think that happens in other spaces.
‘The important thing is: I think the rights of women to feel safe trump the rights of somebody who’s biologically male to enter that space.’
The Ministry of Justice recently said policies are in place to manage the risks that might be posed by male-bodied prisoners who say they are trans women.