Surrey Police investigation over 'misgendering' tweets

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Media caption,

'Why I reported journalist over transgender tweets'

A journalist claims she is being investigated by police for using the wrong pronoun for a transgender woman.

Caroline Farrow said Surrey Police wants to "conduct a taped interview under caution" because of tweets posted in October.

They were made after she was on ITV's Good Morning Britain with Susie Green, whose daughter Jackie is transgender.

Ms Green said the posts were malicious and it was "not just the misgendering" issue.

Ms Green, the founder of the transgender rights charity Mermaids, said she had now withdrawn her complaint to the police.

But Surrey Police said a withdrawal statement must be made for a complaint to be dropped and that had not yet happened in this case.

Image source, Family handout
Image caption,
Susie Green with daughter Jackie

The force said it had received an allegation on 15 October "in relation to a number of tweets which were posted in October 2018".

"A thorough investigation is being carried out to establish whether any criminal offences have taken place," it said.

"A 44-year-old woman has been asked to attend a voluntary interview in relation to the allegation as part of our ongoing investigation."

'So furious'

In the ITV interview, the Catholic journalist and commentator had been discussing with Ms Green the Girl Guides letting children who have changed gender join.

Ms Farrow tweeted the police's decision to launch an investigation was an "outrage", adding: "I can't sleep I am so furious."

She said: "I don't even remember said tweets. I probably said 'he' or 'son' or something.

"All I have been told is that following an appearance on Good Morning Britain I made some tweets misgendering Susie Green's child and that I need to attend a taped interview."

She added it was her "religious belief that a person cannot change sex" and she would "happily do jail time" for her right to express that view.

But she added she tried "really hard not to misgender people".

'Really damaging'

Speaking to the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme, Ms Green said: "Every day my daughter is misgendered online... this was a journalist who had a public platform who used that to send very deliberately malicious nasty messages.

"It's not just the misgendering, it's actually the context that she puts it in to, and that she calls me a child abuser."

She added that complaining to the police was the "appropriate course of action" given the "really damaging things she said about me and my actions".

Ms Green said she had withdrawn her complaint partly because she did not want Ms Farrow to continue to have a platform.

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