THE chairwoman of the Labour Party has insisted it is a “party for everyone” as leader Keir Starmer called for a “mature and respectful debate” over rights for transgender people.

Anneliese Dodds, who was appointed as shadow secretary of state for women and equalities last week, said that Labour’s history of support for the LGBTQ+ community is one to be proud of.

Her comments come as Labour leader Keir Starmer weighed into a social media row involving Rosie Duffield, who has been accused of transphobia.

The Canterbury MP is not attending Labour's conference in Brighton on security advice after allegedly getting threats.

Speaking to The Argus, Ms Dodds said: “Labour is absolutely the party for everyone who shares those Labour values.

"I would say particularly for LGBT+ people where Labour has that proud tradition of campaigning for equality is something that’s personally very important to me."

Ms Dodds also said that discrimination against trans people, along with the a rise in hate crime against LGBTQ+ people and homophobic bullying in schools across the country must be “stamped out”.

She added: “For many decades, the trans community have unfortunately been subject to discrimination and abuse and that must absolutely be stamped out and I am absolutely determined to use my role to make sure that happens.”

Ms Duffield has been criticised for her opposition to transgender women being able to access single-sex spaces such as domestic violence refuges, school toilets and prisons.

In a tweet last year she questioned why she was being called a "transphobe" for "knowing that only women have a cervix".

Speaking on the Andrew Marr Show, Starmer said it was “not right” to say only women have a cervix and added: "We need to have a mature, respectful debate about trans rights and we need to... bear in mind that the trans community are amongst the most marginalised and abused communities.

"Wherever we've got to on the law, we need to go further."

Meanwhile, a Conservative MP has had to apologise to Ms Dodds after saying that a bomb should be planted in her office.

James Gray, MP for North Wiltshire, said the remark was “foolish” and hoped no offence was taken.

His remarks come while the Labour Party conference takes place in Brighton, near to the site of the 1984 IRA bombing during the Conservative Party conference in the city.

Five people were killed and 34 injured in the attempted assassination attempt on then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

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