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Removal of poster backing JK Rowling's stance on transgender rights at Edinburgh station triggers complaint battle

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  Network Rail bosses received hundreds of messages after removing a poster backing the author’s controversial transgender comments.

Network Rail bosses received hundreds of complaints after removing a poster backing JK Rowling’s stance on transgender rights.

The “I Love JK Rowling” poster costing £1200 to display was put up in July at Edinburgh Waverley Station by Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, a feminist blogger who has campaigned against the reform of gender recognition laws – and insists trans women do not fit the definition of a woman.

But within days, Network Rail removed it despite not receiving a single complaint because it violated its “code of acceptance” which “does not allow advertising that is likely to support or promote one view point over another”.

Keen-Minshull, 44, has previously appeared on This Morning with presenters Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford debating trans-gender rights issues.

In 2018, she paid for the dictionary definition “Woman, women: noun, adult human female” to be printed on an ad board in Liverpool during the Labour Party conference.

But since the Rowling poster was removed in July, hundreds of emails were sent to Network Rail complaining.

Internal Network Rail emails reveal chief exec Andrew Haines was inundated with complaints.

One said: “This situation has worsened as the chairman’s office has been inundated with emails complaining about the removal!

“Can you speak to [REDACTED] (if you haven’t already) and especially as this has now reached the chairman?”

Another read: “For awareness – Andrew Haines is getting sent hundreds of emails about a controversial ad saying we shouldn’t have removed it.

“The ad refers to loving JK Rowling and was paid for by a gender campaigner. It is clearly an antagonistic move given JK Rowlings recent comments in the press about gender and trans people.”

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “Clearly, the words used on the poster in question were not at all political.

“However, it was removed because it was paid for by a gender recognition reform group and our advertising code states we will not display anything that supports a political viewpoint, policy or action, or that promotes one viewpoint over another.”

Rowling’s row with transgender activists began in June, after she responded to a headline on an online article discussing “people who menstruate” by writing in a tweet: “I’m sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?”

Critics accused her of being transphobic but Rowling said she stood by her comments, saying it “isn’t hate to speak the truth”.

In a post, she wrote her interest in trans issues stemmed from being an abuse survivor and having concerns around single-sex spaces.



Tags: JK Rowling

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