Debbie Hayton

Debbie Hayton

Debbie Hayton is a teacher and journalist

Scotland doesn’t need a ‘non-binary action plan’

Scotland’s government has plenty of things on its to-do list: tackling inflation, dealing with unemployment and cleaning up the mess left behind by Nicola Sturgeon. But amidst these tasks, it has found time to wade into the gender debate – by publishing its ‘non-binary equality action plan’ to help those who do not fit in

We need trans-only wards

The Health Secretary Steve Barclay is expected to announce plans to ban transwomen like me from female hospital wards today. Let’s be clear, the privacy, dignity and safety of women in hospital have been overlooked for too long – but Barclay will also need to offer separate wards or rooms for transgender people. Yes, women should not be expected to

Are the Tories still going to ban conversion therapy?

The clock is ticking on a bill to ban conversion therapy, at least for this year. Let’s hope that time runs out before it becomes law. The Tories had previously promised to ban the practice of attempting to change someone’s sexuality or gender identity, but the government appears to have had second thoughts. When Lib

When will the Tories clear up the transgender confusion?

Schools are back but teachers are still waiting for the government’s guidance on transgender pupils. Back in March, Rishi Sunak promised that it would be in our hands ‘for the summer term’. Well it’s now autumn and another round of teacher training days – and the summer holidays – have come and gone, and still

Danielle McGahey should not be allowed to play women’s cricket

Danielle McGahey is set to become the first transgender cricketer to play an official Twenty20 international. The 29-year old Australian-born opening batsman has been named in the Canadian women’s squad that will take on Brazil, Argentina and the USA next week in Los Angeles. The ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Americas Region Qualifier is hardly

What does Vogue have against women’s sport?

Vogue magazine’s recent ‘powerhouse’ of 25 ‘women [who are] defining – and redefining – Britain in 2023’ includes one person who is not like the others. Emily Bridges is no more a woman than I am, but the transgender cyclist is the only sporting figure to have made the cut. What a kick in the

Trumpvision: he’s making America watch again

27 min listen

On the podcast this week:  In his cover piece for the magazine, The Spectator’s deputy editor Freddy Gray says that he was hardly surprised that Donald Trump chose not to participate in last night’s Republican candidates debate. He argues that Trump no longer needs the TV networks and joins the podcast alongside Douglas Murray, who profiles the

Unfair A-levels are the best idea we’ve got

A-level results day is the most terrifying moment in anyone’s education. Poor GCSEs can be overlooked by a school that knows their pupils could do well in the sixth form. Degree classifications at university are so broad that one bad paper may well not matter. But A-Levels are brutal. Students who miss their university offer

Toilet politics needn’t be difficult

August is traditionally the silly season in politics but we seem to be stuck in silly decade of policy, and not in a funny way. Even ten years ago, few might have imagined that the minister for equalities would have needed to open up a debate on toilets. Yesterday, Kemi Badenoch announced that the government

Mhairi Black needs to grow up

When 20-year old Mhairi Black was elected in 2015, she became the youngest MP for over 300 years. Eight years later, it seems that the ‘baby of the house’ has yet to grow up. Speaking at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Black has likened gender critical campaigners to white supremacists, and suggested that they were funded

Amanda Abbington is right: drag queens aren’t for children

The Transgender Thought Police are impossible to please. The sooner Amanda Abbington realises, the better. The star of Sherlock and Mr Selfridge is the latest woman to end up in the dock for voicing an opinion they deem to be unacceptable. After the BBC announced that Abbington was the first celebrity contestant confirmed for Strictly

Amanda Abbington (Photo: Getty)

Trans guidance for schools can’t come soon enough

The Department for Education has delayed yet further its long-awaited transgender guidance for schools. Rishi Sunak had pledged that the document would be in our hands ‘for the summer term’, but that looks increasingly like another broken promise. I’m a teacher who also happens to be trans, so I have more than a passing interest. In schools

Caster Semenya shouldn’t be able to compete in women’s events

Who can compete in women’s sports? This week’s decision by the European Court of Human Rights further complicates the debate. Judges in Strasbourg upheld Caster Semenya’s appeal against World Athletics regulations that requited athletes like Semenya to lower their testosterone levels to be allowed to compete with women. The court ruled that those regulations were ‘a source

Caster Semenya

Mermaids’ loss is a victory for a free society

This morning’s news that the LGB Alliance has won its case to retain its charitable status is a victory and a relief for everyone who wants to live in a free and progressive society. That status was challenged by Mermaids and Jolyon Maugham’s so-called Good Law Project. Their argument seemed to be that it was

Rishi Sunak is no transphobe

Does a woman have a penis? Of course not. Until recently, that basic biological fact was accepted by almost everyone. Perhaps it still is but, with the transgender thought police waiting in the wings, it is a truth that few politicians are willing to articulate. After a leaked recording emerged – allegedly from a meeting