Newly elected Green councillor says it is “scientifically impossible for a man to become a woman”

Shortly after he was elected as the new Green councillor for Nether Edge and Sharrow, Peter Garbutt said: “It is scientifically impossible for a man to become a woman or a woman to become a man.”

When challenged about recent comments he made about trans rights activism, he said: “I’m not in the least bit transphobic. I have been trying to conduct debate about transphobia because I think there are some inaccuracies in the science.

“You cannot change DNA.”

He also said some trans people use “less than democratic means” of putting their points across.

Earlier this week a Green party source said Coun Garbutt’s comments had caused “untold damage” to the party’s reputation and claimed a number of LGBT voters in the Nether Edge and Sharrow ward were refusing to vote Green as a result.

However, Coun Garbutt still managed to comfortably take the seat from Labour’s Mohammad Maroof with 3,735 votes.

Maroof himself was suspended earlier this year after he accidentally sent a nude image to a Mums United WhatsApp group, and many residents were also frustrated with Labour’s handling of the tree felling controversy.

Coun Garbutt came under criticism for his earlier tweets in which he described trans rights activism as “aggressive” and “offering difficulties”.

He also said the trans rights campaign “challenges women’s rights” and referred to the “recognition of a problem” as regards trans women in sport.

A Green Party source said: “We have the most pro-trans policy of any party.  It’s just a shame that sometimes it doesn’t leak through to an individual level.

“It really isn’t the view of the Green Party and it doesn’t reflect the Green Party ethos.”