Natalie Bird Legal Fund
Natalie Bird Legal Fund
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Latest: March 14, 2022
Update 6 - Kier Starmer
To: My Crowd Funders
I was dismayed to read last week in one of our national newspapers that Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour party and aspiring PM-in-waiting believes that 'Transwomen are women…Read more
Natalie has been a Lib Dem member since 2015 and stood as a prospective councillor in 2015, losing the seat to the head of the council's tory party by only a few hundred votes.
She is a mother of two boys and a passionate believer in sex-based rights for women. Holding such beliefs in the current political climate has come at a cost especially as, within the last decade the Lib Dem's focus has moved away from women's equality and instead it centers on transgender people’s rights. Natalie believes this view tends to exclude women, pushing them further out of politics when women’s voices are needed more than ever.
In 2018 a complaint was made against her for raising concerns about the rights of vulnerable women; concerns that Transwomen were allowed access to women's refuges. This was in the context that she herself had left an abusive relationship, was living with her two boys with her mother, whilst being dragged through the family courts by her ex-partner. In this context Natalie believe that policies should focus on protecting vulnerable women. This has been discussed nationally as recently as August 2020.
The 2018 complaint against her was formally dismissed by the Lib Dems in August 2018.
She lost a number of internal roles such as Standards on North West Executive, being a judge on the Ashdown prize and chair of the Radical Association.
In late 2018, Natalie wore a T-shirt saying "Woman: Adult Human Female" in a Lib Dem meeting. There followed an investigation and in November 2019 Natalie was "barred from holding or standing for election to any party office for 10 years" and "barred from holding or seeking to be elected to any public office on behalf of the party for a period of 10 years" because she had "disseminat(ed) transphobic material over a prolonged time". For allegedly "speaking to a journalist", (an alleged breach of confidentiality) she received a reprimand. Natalie has appealed these findings and denies being transphobic, instead has simply raised questions around how to find the right balance between gender based rights and sex based rights. That appeal is still pending.
Natalie seeks to instruct lawyers to explore whether there have been breaches of the internal procedures of the Liberal Democrats and whether there have been breaches of the Equality Act 2010 against her (and potentially other women in the party).
You can read about what happened to Natalie here in the Times here
Thank you for contributing to this fund which will help Natalie raise money to seek advice as to any potential legal redress of these actions.
March 14, 2022
Update 6 - Kier Starmer
To: My Crowd Funders
I was dismayed to read last week in one of our national newspapers that Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour party and aspiring PM-in-waiting believes that 'Transwomen are women', which to me showed a staggering inability to 'read the room ' and notice just how far the gender wars have progressed since I first spoke out in early 2018.
He then tried to placate women by stating he also believed women are entitled to safe spaces and that the Equality Act would remain unchanged.
As Mr Starmer is a prominent lawyer it seems striking that he seems to have little knowledge of the Gender Reform Act (“GRA 2004”) and is trying to play the electorate for fools for trying to ride two horses at the same time.
Anyone who has looked into the legislation surrounding the original GRA 2004 will immediately have discomfort around the 'legal fiction' that was created by the Act, and the fact our government is supplying 'false' birth certificates for any individual wishing to be 'seen' as the opposite gender.
This strikes me as a particularly short-sighted way to deal with helping, supporting and protecting Transpeople in our society, many of whom feel deeply uncomfortable with their bodies and their gender.
I’m sure you'll agree a new birth certificate offers a transperson no means of protection and instead opens the door to a whole host of unintended consequences, leading to issues like Karen White been placed in the mother and baby unit at New Hall (although Karen did not have a Gender Recognition Certificate ) and skews the data both on the census and more widely around the data gathered around women.
Life has moved on since 2004, and it is high time this government reviewed the GRA 2004 and ask whether it really is fit for purpose or whether it is creating more problems than it solves.
For Keir to apply his legal mind to this point rather than just 'virtue signaling' to a small minority of his party would be a better use of everyone's time and resources.
I believe that our next government needs to be a Labour/ Liberal alliance, but I cannot and will not support any party that refuses to speak for women and is not making policy based on rationality and evidence.
Although I have been unable to attend the Liberal Democrats spring conference once again, I’m aware my case has triggered a crisis of conscience in many senior liberals and campaigners, many of whom have contacted me privately around this matter. I was therefore extremely pleased to see that conference has voted unanimously to add 'sex' back into the party constitution. It’s a very small step in the scheme of things but a giant leap for the libdems.
For me achieving real 'cultural ' change within the libdems has always been as important to me as winning my case at court.
I would hope that Keir Starmer will also start to see outside of his party echo chambers and listen to the voters and the majority of the country this topic.
Keir Starmer cannot expect our vote if he is not prepared to respect our sex.
Jan. 31, 2022
Update 5 - Woman: Adult Human Female
Dear Crowd Funders
I hope that you and yours are well.
A short update, just to highlight that my article in The Critic was launched today. Hopefully it sets out clearer some of my political thoughts and views.
I hope you enjoy reading it. If you can, I would be grateful if you could please share it on your social media channels.
Jan. 7, 2022
Update 4 - Strong support from a former Lib Dem MEP
Happy New Year to my Crowd Funders! I wish you all the best for 2022.
A short update in relation to the case – the plan is to serve my claim with Particulars of Claim on the defendants shortly and I will update you when I do.
In the meantime, I want to thank you all for the comments which are an immeasurable source of support during this very difficult time. I can’t believe how stressful litigation is and I have barely started down the road. As I have said before, I can only carry on this litigation with the financial support through Crowd Funding, but I appreciate that it is a really difficult time, especially with the cost of living, and people should only give if they can afford it.
Since starting this litigation, I have been struck by how many current and former members of the Liberal Democrats have reached out to support me. Many want to remain anonymous for fear of reprisal and have asked to remain confidential. Some have had complaints made against them for supporting me. For those who wish to remain anonymous, private messages of support are a great comfort.
However, some are very content to be well known in their support for me and my case. One particular “heavy hitter” in the party who wants to support me is Chris Davies, Former Member of Parliament for Littleborough & Saddleworth (1995 – 97) and Member of the European Parliament (1999 – 2014 and 2019-2020). He has kindly provided a very generous donation and has invited me to share his reasons with you.
Chris Davies writes
“I have been an active member of the party since 1974, and a Liberal Democrat parliamentarian for more than 17 years. We Liberals always used to support the right of people to protest though non-violent direct action, so I was outraged to learn of the way in which Natalie Bird has been treated. How can a serious political party condemn someone for silently stating that a woman is an adult, human female? In the party of J.S. Mill, the author of ‘On Liberty’ who advocated the right of every individual to express their views, is objective science now to be dismissed because it doesn’t fit with the latest political ideas? Science should not be swept aside by glib slogans claiming that trans-women are women without qualification of any kind at all.
“As Liberal Democrats we seek to build a society in which no individual shall experience discrimination, and it should go without saying that trans rights are human rights, but with rights go responsibilities and the need for balance. Women have the right to feel safe, and they may feel less safe if males are allowed to declare themselves female without any medical justification and without safeguards that have yet to be specified. Women athletes surely have the right to compete against women who have not gained the muscular advantage of male puberty. Young people should be encouraged to exercise the right to explore their own sexuality without pressure from those who encourage them to seek medical intervention. A lesbian woman, Keira Bell, has had the courage to speak up against the hormone treatment and mastectomy she underwent; how many other young women/men have undergone surgery and been sterilised only now to regret it?
“These are not easy issues, and I know that the views of feminists are deeply divided, but a political party that seeks to frame legislation should be prepared to listen to all views and explore how best to calm concerns and resolve conflicts. This is not what our party is doing. It has determined that the concerns of women should be dismissed. It seeks to silence dissenters within the party and crush opposition. I hate to say this of the party that I have served and supported for so long, but in this respect it has become intolerant and illiberal.
“I am supporting Natalie Bird’s case because I want once again to be proud, and not ashamed, of the way in which our party behaves. I hope her legal action is successful, and that the Liberal Democrats are forced to think afresh.”
Nov. 10, 2021
We have issued my Claim!
We have issued my Claim!
Once again I can only say how grateful I am that so many people have generously donated to my Crowd Funder. The messages of support have been so helpful and they really do help me to keep up the fight.
I am very happy to report that my solicitors have now issued my claim in the County Court Money Claims Centre. This Crowd Funder is now for a claim that will be heard in Court.
My claims have been issued against the Liberal Democrats and The Liberal Democrats in England (amongst others). The entry in “brief details of claim” on the Claim Form are:
i) Breaches of my membership contract;
ii) Direct Discrimination contrary to philosophical belief and also sex;
iii) Indirect Discrimination contrary to philosophical belief and also sex;
iv) Harassment related to philosophical belief and also sex;
My philosophical beliefs are my Gender Critical beliefs: “that biological sex is immutable and should not be conflated with gender identity”. Further, that I do not believe in “Gender Identity. That I do not believe that every person has a gender which may be different to their sex at birth”. I claim I have suffered as a result of holding those beliefs.
We have not yet served the Claim Form or Particulars of Claim on the Defendants (there can be a period of 4 months or more before we have to serve) but my legal team are starting to put together the whole factual matrix of my claim which starts way back in 2017 and I believe is still ongoing. This will be my Particulars of Claim. We will then serve the Claim Form and Particulars on the Defendants. They will then have to file and serve their Defence. The Defence will be very difficult to read. The normal Court timetable will then be set in motion, with disclosure, witness statements and eventually a trial.
All this is thanks to you, my Crowd Funders, as I am totally reliant on Crowd Funding to bring my legal claim to Court. My mental health has suffered immeasurably since 2017 and I would rather be concentrating on bringing up my 2 children rather than having to fight this litigation, especially as I have other battles to fight in the family courts with my children’s’ father. However, I am committed to this task as I believe it is the right thing to do.
This means the hard work starts for me and my legal team.
Any help you can offer will always be gratefully received.
All the best and I will keep you updated.
Oct. 18, 2021
Update 2 - Uncomfortable and difficult conversations
Somehow within our political parties the word 'woman' has become forbidden, verboten, not needed, with those that dare to utter it burned at a metaphorical stake by party activists.
A few weeks ago Andrew Marr asked Ed Davey about why the word woman was a forbidden word within the libdems. Ed coughed and spluttered, evaded the question numerous times and then tried to move the conversation to the 'culture wars' and to discuss Trans.
The problem is that there is an inherent conflict between women's rights and trans rights, and we as a society need to tackle this by having uncomfortable and difficult conversations.
Unfortunately we are seeing that anyone who raises the word 'woman' and the conflicts, is being targeted in the manner that we have seen with Kathleen Stock this week.
I first spoke out in 2018, raising concerns on this issue. I'd recently left an abusive relationship and found appalling the fact that male bodied trans identified men could access women's refuges and spaces without any safeguarding for women utterly. I still haven't changed my mind on this.
We are seeing with trans ideology excuses made for inexcusable things. We are seeing Transwomen put in prison with our country's most vulnerable women but nobody is speaking up and protecting women.
We are seeing the data being skewed and statistics about women disappearing, replaced instead by a nebulous 'gender identity' that is having real world effects on single sex wards, and rape victims been unable to request a female doctor.
For speaking up in 2018, I lost numerous party positions including chair of the Lib Dem “Radical Association” and was forbidden to stand as a candidate in the 2019 election. That election saw Jo Swinson lose her seat. I believe a part of that was because she failed to be clear about what a woman is https://youtu.be/6yfXtkjMgAE
This is a turning point; we need more from our politicians: instead of lies we need truth, courage and integrity.
Thank you for all your support into my Crowdfunder. So far, two pre-action letters have been sent to the Lib Dems to which there has been no substantive response. My case is likely to be heard at some point next year.
The ongoing persecution for those of us who speak out is exhausting. We must continue to fight, the tide is slowly turning and this is a fight we can and will win.
Thank you for your ongoing support
Sept. 27, 2021
Update 1 - Message to my Crowd Funders
Many thanks to all of you who have been very generous to my Crowd Funding efforts so far.
I write to update my case given the last few weeks have sparked intense debate both within our political parties and outside, with Andrew Marr leading the questioning to Ed Davey on 'what is a woman'.
Andrew Marr went on to specifically mention my legal case (and my T-Shirt “woman: noun, adult human female") and my treatment by the Lib Dems along with the sanctions I’ve received which were a 10 year ban from standing in any party role internally and externally.
The link to Ed Davey being questioned by Marr as to what a woman is, here:
The link to Daisy cooper being questioned on this same topic on BBC politics here:
The sane question was also posed by Emma Barnett on BBC women's hour on radio 4. You can listen here:
Separately to this a second pre-action letter has been sent to the Lib Dems. We are awaiting a response.
My case is strong and winnable, focusing on the issues of Freedom of speech as well as direct discrimination, indirect discrimination more widely towards women in the Lib Dems and harassment.
Sometimes in these debates we lose focus on who the real 'victims' are. I've been targeted for speaking out on this topic since 2018. I will continue to stand up for women and ask the Lib Dems to find 'moral courage' to stand up and do the right thing for women.
I will not stand down in my convictions and feel that justice is urgently needed in my case.
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