Labour lifts suspension of by-election candidate accused of transphobia on eve of vote

Laura Pascal. Photograph: Hackney Labour

Labour’s candidate for the Cazenove by-election has had her suspension lifted by the party on the eve of the vote, the Citizen understands.

Laura Pascal was “administratively suspended” last week after an allegation of transphobia was made against her by a party member.

In a statement tonight, Pascal said: “I offer a heartfelt apology to the people of Cazenove ward, Hackney and anyone who has been offended by my social media activity, which fell well below the standard expected of someone seeking election to public office.

“It was a mistake to ‘like’ some tweets that caused offence and a great deal of hurt.

“Ultimately, the people of Cazenove ward will make their own judgements on Thursday, but I hope they can find some reassurance in the fact that I have reflected deeply on my past social media activity and offer this apology unreservedly.”

Pascal came under fire for ‘liking’ a post on Twitter that compared ‘blackface’ to ‘womanface’.

In a tweet that was pinned to the top of her X feed until very recently, Pascal wrote: “My embodied reality as a member of the oppressed sex class is experienced in a world where biology has a significant impact.

“You can believe what you want but I believe that biological sex is a real thing and neither law or some kind of new scientific concensus would change that.”

She also declared in another tweet that “trans women are not female”.

The Labour Women’s Declaration, which describes itself as a movement to “raise the profile of women’s sex-based rights within the party and wider socialist movement”, had called for a hearing of the complaint against Pascal to be expedited.

The lifting of Pascal’s suspension means that, should she emerge victorious tomorrow, she will sit as a Labour councillor.

It is a marked change from earlier in the week, when party sources made clear she would sit as an independent as it was too late to replace her on the ballot paper.