MP Nick Fletcher ‘regretful for any upset’ but ‘stands by his views’ on ‘trans is a phase in children’ letter

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Doncaster’s Conservative MP Nick Fletcher has said he’s ‘disappointed’ a private letter to schools in which he said trans was ‘nothing more than a phase’ in children went public.

The Don Valley MP came under fire for the comments after the letter, in which he said ‘boys are boys and girls are girls’, and the media glamorises a ‘transgender lifestyle’, was leaked to the media.

The comments brought criticism from councillors, head teachers and LGBTQ+ charities.

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In response to the letter going public, Mr Fletcher told the Local Democracy Reporting Service he was ‘deeply regretful’ if it caused any upset’ but he ‘stands by his views’.

Don Valley MP Nick FletcherDon Valley MP Nick Fletcher
Don Valley MP Nick Fletcher

His letter asks schools to confirm their position on the matter before going on to outline his own.

He describes the ‘trans question’ as an ‘issue that seems to be taking over much public discourse these days’.

Mr Fletcher said: “This was a private letter sent by me to the head teachers of all the schools in my constituency.

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“In it I offered my support with regards to the increased numbers of young children who are expressing a view that they are a different gender to their sex.

“I have kept away from social media on this subject as I understand the negativity that can come when discussing this issue.

“I am therefore deeply disappointed that these private letters have entered the public forum. I am deeply regretful if this has caused any upset as that was not my intention but I stand by my views.”

In the letter, the MP goes on to suggest that, when ‘it comes to feelings of being a boy or a girl’, books and media have made trans ‘ideology acceptable to embrace’.

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But, he adds in the letter, it is his view that these portrayals ‘affirm something that is nothing more than a phase’.

Mr Fletcher acknowledged that some may disagree with him, but suggests that children who would previously have been dubbed Tomboys or similar may now wrongly be led to believe they are transgender.

He says schools are ‘afraid of being classed as transphobic’ but writes that a ‘push-back is desperately needed’ and he will support staff.