The Daily Telegraph - Saturday

The Tories have failed to give their anti-woke allies the support they deserve

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Why didn’t more Cabinet ministers come out in support of Baroness Falkner, the brave peer who faced an attempted coup as chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)?

The former Liberal Democrat, 68, had hoped to find consensus in the vicious clash between women’s and transgende­r rights when she took the helm of the EHRC in 2020. Last year, she wrote in these pages that it was time to take the heat out of the “toxic” debate over trans rights. Little did she know that the toxicity would ultimately land on her doorstep, as she’s been forced to fight internal fires.

Lady Falkner, who recently agreed that the Government should consider protecting “biological sex” rather than just “sex” in an amendment to the 2010 Equality Act to “bring legal clarity” to areas such as sports, became the victim of an apparent witch hunt by her staff. Yesterday brought the news that an internal investigat­ion into her had been paused. Let us hope that it will now be scrapped entirely.

But it really never should have got this far. In February, a dossier titled “Governance Concerns” from an unknown number of complainan­ts started circulatin­g, containing allegation­s of “bullying”, “harassment” and “discrimina­tion” and claiming that “unacceptab­le behaviour from the chairwoman is becoming normalised”. There apparently weren’t many examples – and it is understood Baroness Falkner wasn’t even made

The decision yesterday by British Cycling to ban trans women from female competitio­ns highlights the legitimacy of these concerns

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