Army officer sacked, for stating 'men cannot be women'

Army officer sacked, for stating 'men cannot be women'

A colonel claims he was forced to leave the Army after he was condemned for stating “men cannot be women”.

Dr Kelvin Wright says a "hellish" investigation was carried out as his “honour was attacked” with a transphobia complaint.

The 54-year-old shared a post on his private Facebook account from Fair Play for Women - a campaign group that works with governing bodies to preserve women’s sport for those born female.

The quote from Helen Joyce, a feminist campaigner, said: “If women cannot stand in a public place and say ‘men cannot be women’, then we do not have women’s rights at all.”

A junior officer then warned him that his gender-critical views could go against the Ministry of Defence transgender policies.

The Army’s “LGBT champions” allegedly created a seven-page report about his “substandard behaviour” which Wright was unable to see.

In May, a formal investigation was opened which could have seen him dismissed or censured under the Major Administrative Action process, which would have involved him making a statement.

This month, Wright felt forced to retire six years earlier than planned meaning his Army pension has been cut.

The colonel, who led a team of 60 troops in 306 Hospital Support Regiment alongside working as an NHS intensive care consultant, is being supported by the Free Speech Union, which has appointed an employment barrister to defend him.

“This attack on my honour made my position completely untenable. I could no longer remain in an Army which treated its officers with such disrespect," he told The Telegraph.

“What message does it send to women in the Army, that merely for noting the existence of women and women’s rights even a colonel can be placed under investigation? I therefore feel there is no other choice but to make this matter public.

“It makes you wonder who is running the Army: the Chief of the Defence Staff, or Stonewall?”

He said that he is now “taking the gloves off” because “I want my name cleared, my honour cleared”.

Wright added: “This is about freedom of speech and protection of women – there is nothing that ever says I have been anti-trans or anti-LGBT at all... I have never let any of my beliefs interfere with my command.

“As a commanding officer, I annually teach my soldiers about moral courage, doing the right thing and treating others with respect.

"Someone with a bit of moral courage could have said this is absolutely trivial, this should be dismissed early on and we should get on with the business of war-fighting, should it ever happen.”

An Army spokesman said: “We are aware of a post shared by a service person to their own personal social media account which may have caused offence. We are not prepared to comment further as this is an ongoing internal matter.”