A deepening row about The Guardian’s coverage of trans rights issues saw a trans woman dramatically announce her resignation in front of colleagues on Tuesday, HuffPost UK understands.
It is the third resignation from the paper’s UK office in months over the issue.
The worker confirmed to HuffPost UK she had handed in her notice a few weeks earlier, but chose to speak out in the busy news meeting on Tuesday over what she called “the straw that broke the camel’s back”.
The events came hours after The Guardian published a column by Suzanne Moore entitled: “Women must have the right to organise. We will not be silenced.”
Moore’s column was written in response to the last-minute cancellation of Selina Todd’s expected address at Exeter College, after Todd was accused of transphobia – which she strongly denies.
Todd tweeted that the decision to no-platform her was “because of my connection with Woman’s Place UK”.
The group was set up in September 2017 “to ensure women’s voices would be heard in the consultation on proposals to change the Gender Recognition Act”, according to its website.
Its opposition to trans women being legally allowed to self-ID and access women-only spaces has led critics – including the Labour Campaign for Trans Rights – to accuse it of transphobia.
The campaign named it among a list of “transphobic organisations” in its 12-point plan calling for sex-based campaigners to be expelled from the party. Guardian columnist Owen Jones described Labour leadership contender Rebecca Long-Bailey as a “hero” for backing the group’s pledges.
In a subsequent blog post, Todd, a professor of modern history at the University of Oxford, said she was “shocked” by the move to disinvite her, adding: “The organisers say this is because of pressure from trans activists and [activist group] Feminist Fightback. I refute the allegation that I am transphobic.”
The Guardian’s approach to covering trans rights issues has been the subject of internal battles. In 2018, three of the paper’s US staff publicly criticised the decision to run an editorial that they said “promoted transphobic viewpoints”.
Last year, BuzzFeed reported the Guardian had lost two trans employees over its coverage of the issue, with one accusing the newspaper in an email to staff of being “an incredibly transphobic organisation”.
A Guardian News & Media spokesperson told HuffPost UK: “We do not comment on discussions at our morning editorial conference.”