Boris Johnson to scrap gender self-identification plans

(Photo: Pexels/Magda Ehlers)

The Prime Minister is preparing to drop proposed changes to the law that would make it easier for people to change their legal gender, it has been reported.

The Sunday Times reports that the U-turn is detailed in a leaked paper setting out the Government's response to a public consultation on reforms to the Gender Recognition Act. 

According to the paper, while around 70 per cent of the 100,000 responses to the consultation supported the reforms, officials said this figure had been "skewed" by an "avalance" of responses from trans rights groups.

Plans to allow people to 'self-identify' as a different sex were first put forward by the Government under Theresa May.  The proposed reforms would remove the need for medical evidence and change the length of time required by a transgender person to live in their acquired gender from two years to three months. 

The proposals have faced strong opposition from women's and Christian groups, who are calling for the protection of single-sex spaces. 

The Sunday Times reports that No 10 is working on new measures to ensure that female-only spaces, like public toilets, are not used by those with male anatomy. 

It said that the leaked paper is due to be published by equalities minister Liz Truss at the end of July, and will, in a bid to appease LGBT groups, include plans to ban conversion therapy.

"In terms of changing what is on your birth certificate, you will still need to have proper medical approval," a source was quoted by the paper as saying.

"And you're not going to be able to march in and find a hippie quack doctor who is willing to say you're a woman. That's not going to happen."

The source added: "There will be big moves on safe spaces and women-only toilets and and a total ban on 'gay cure' therapies."

Ms Truss defended single-sex spaces earlier this year when she addressed the Women and Equalities Select Committee.

In her comments, she said it was "extremely important" that the Government protect single-sex spaces, and also children and young people from "irreversible" treatment.