The fall and rise of Jamie Wallis MP

In a week when our elected politicians have seemed ever more detached from the (biological) reality in which we mere voters – unqualified to have an opinion, apparently – are forced to live our dreary cis lives, the highlight was surely the Conservative MP for Bridgend, Jamie Wallis – first elected in December 2019 and previously best known for wearing a Union Jack tie and mask in the House of Commons – firing up Twitter at 2:48am to announce to the world that he is trans.

Jamie will however continue to ‘present’ as a man, and will continue to use he/him/his pronouns. Just as he has since he was wrongly assigned male at birth. Or something.

The new poster boy for trans folks has yet to tell the Twittersphere how his wife Rebecca and their two young daughters feel about his new trans identity, but MPs across the political spectrum were quick to announce their solidaritee with Jamiee.

In the Independent, Foreign Secretary and Minister for Women & Equalities Liz Truss welcomed Jamie’s “brave statement”, while Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy confirmed that the “incredibly brave and dignified” Jamie will now be able to grow a cervix, should he wish to do so. And, having already tweeted his admiration for Jamie’s “immense courage”, Boris Johnson later opened Prime Minister’s Questions by pledging “the whole House stands with you and will give you the support you need to live freely as yourself”. I hear that Billy Bragg is re-writing the lyrics of one of his songs.

Unfortunately for Johnson, Truss, Lammy and the predictable procession of trans allies standing proud with the UK’s “first openly trans MP” – including luxury communist Ash Sarkar, luxury Conservative Party chair Oliver Dowden, Shadow Women & Equalities Minister Anneliese Dodds, pansexual Liberal Democrat MP and soul whisperer Layla Moran, Scottish National Party MP Hannah Bardell, alleged wig-owner Michael Fabricant MP, human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, professional loudmouth Patrick Strudwick and, er, the University of Lincoln Labour Society – Jamie’s living freely as himself has so far included:

  • co-owning a ‘sugar daddy’ pimping website that encouraged cash-strapped students to prostitute themselves to rich businessmen (“Whether you’re a boy, girl, straight or gay, there’s a sugar daddy for you. All our sugar daddies are vigorously vetted to verify their suitability and trustworthiness – you provide the companionship they require, they promise to provide the support you need.”)
  • engaging a knife-wielding convicted criminal as his election campaign manager
  • fleeing the scene after crashing his car into a lamp post (or, by some accounts, a telegraph pole) in the early hours of the morning, presumably while tired and emotional, in November 2021. And, in February this year, Jamie was fined £270 (enough to pay to apply for a Gender Recognition Certificate 54 times) in relation to a separate driving incident in August 2021. [Update: Jamie has now been charged in relation to the November 2021 incident, and will appear in court on 10 May. Further update: In court on 10 May, Jamie pleaded not guilty and the case will now go to trial in Cardiff Magistrates Court on 11 July. Serves Jamie right for driving a Mercedes, imho. Further update, 11 July: Jamie was today convicted of failing to stop, failing to report an accident, and leaving the vehicle (that he had just crashed into a telegraph pole) in a dangerous position. He was disqualified from driving for six months, and fined £2,500. And, to cap it all, the judge said he had not found Wallis credible when giving evidence. Apparently, Jamie was on his way to meet his estranged wife, but quite why he was doing so while wearing a black PVC miniskirt remains a mystery. Anyway, Jamie’s dad came at 1am to whisk Jamie away from the scene. Jamie is 38 years old.]

It’s not yet clear which of these failures of judgement were due to Jamie’s gender dysphoria, and which were due to Jamie just being a classic Tory twat. But time will tell whether he is able to build on this unenviable record, shine a light for other trans and non-binary people in Parliament and beyond, prove his ‘suitability and trustworthiness’ to the voters of Bridgend, and take his ‘vigorously vetted’ but rightful place in the cabinet of prime minister Liz Truss, Fishi Rishi or (my favourite) Penny Mordaunt.

And time will tell whether David Lammy, Layla Moran, Anneliese Dodds and all the other trans allies continue to stand in solidaritee with Tory Jamiee. Already, Peter Tatchell’s twin brother Peter Tatchell has taken to Twitter to warn that “would-be trans MP Jamie Wallis is no hero”. #Awkward

Update, 15 July: Tory leadership hopeful Tom Tugendhat has joined the Jamie Wallis fanclub, telling LGBT Conservatives that he is “hugely proud” of Jamie for being the first trans MP.

About wonkypolicywonk

Wonkypolicywonk is a policy minion, assigned wonky at birth, who has been lucky enough to work for two of the very best MPs in the House of Commons, and for Maternity Action, Working Families, Citizens Advice, the National Audit Office, the Law Society, and Amnesty International UK.
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