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JK Rowling heaps praise on Allison Bailey, Sonia Appleby, and Keira Bell

Allison Bailey 

Barrister Ms Bailey, 52, who is a lesbian, founded the LGB Alliance Group in 2019. 

It argues there is a conflict between the rights of lesbian, gay and bisexual people and transgender people. 

Ms Bailey launched a discrimination action against the legal firm she works for, Garden Court Chambers (GCC) and Stonewall. 

She claims to have lost work and income due to GCC’s involvement with Stonewall’s Diversity Champions scheme, which she said was ‘exclusive’ and ‘discriminatory’ of her beliefs.

In a witness statement read at the current tribunal, Ms Bailey detailed incidents involving trans activists, including one where she was present and thought she was ‘about to be assaulted as several activists got really close and surrounded me’.

She has become friends with Harry Potter JK Rowling as a result of her stance.  

Barrister suing LGBTQ+ charity Stonewell and her London chambers over claims she was ‘silenced’ for her views on transgender issues. 

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Barrister Ms Bailey, 52, who is a lesbian, founded the LGB Alliance Group in 2019

Sonia Appleby

Ms Appleby was a social worker at the NHS’s only gender clinic for children. 

In September last year, she won £20,000 damages after saying she was shunned when she raised concerns about the use of puberty blockers at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust’s Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS).

Employment judge Sarah Goodman said after the ruling that Ms Appleby has been labelled ‘hostile’ by bosses after warning that staff had serious concerns about the prescription of puberty blockers to patients. 

Ms Appleby was a social worker and safeguarding lead at the NHS's only gender clinic for children

Ms Appleby was a social worker and safeguarding lead at the NHS's only gender clinic for children

Ms Appleby was a social worker and safeguarding lead at the NHS’s only gender clinic for children

The director of GIDS, Dr Polly Carmichael, was said to have told her team that Ms Appleby had ‘an agenda’ and discouraged staff from telling her about safeguarding concerns.

Judge Goodman said the comments made it ‘difficult’ for Ms Appleby to carry out her duties at GIDS as the lead on safeguarding. 

The judge also criticised Ms Appleby’s bosses for recording a complaint on her employment file without any formal investigation after the social worker had warned that GIDS could be in a ‘Jimmy Saville-style situation’. 

Judge Goodman said: ‘The claimant was reaching the end of her hitherto blameless professional career in a senior position.

‘Her explanation that referring to Jimmy Savile was shorthand for being careful that harm was not overlooked and was something she routinely stated in training was rejected without investigation.’

Keira Bell 

Ms Bell took legal action against the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, which runs GIDS, after ‘detransitioning’. 

She suffered from gender dysphoria as a child and took testosterone, which left her with a deep voice and possibly infertile. 

She also had a double mastectomy and took puberty blockers – but later realised she had ‘gone down the wrong path’.

The legal saga began around 16 months ago with an historic ruling in December 2020.

The High Court ruled that children under 16 with gender dysphoria could only consent to the use of hormone-blocking treatments if they understood the ‘immediate and long-term consequences’.

Keira Bell took legal action against the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, which runs GIDS, after 'detransitioning'

Keira Bell took legal action against the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, which runs GIDS, after 'detransitioning'

Keira Bell took legal action against the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, which runs GIDS, after ‘detransitioning’

The judges said it was ‘highly unlikely’ that a child aged 13 or under would be able to consent to the treatment, and that it was ‘doubtful’ that a child of 14 or 15 would understand the consequences.

But the Tavistock and Portman brought an appeal against the ruling in June 2021.

In a judgment in September last year, the Court of Appeal said it was ‘inappropriate’ for the High Court to give the guidance, finding doctors should instead exercise judgment about whether their patients can properly consent

Ms Bell said at the time she was ‘obviously disappointed’ with the ruling, and said the case had ‘shone a light into the dark corners of a medical scandal that is harming children.’

She added: ‘I am surprised and disappointed that the court was not concerned that children as young as 10 have been put on a pathway to sterilisation.’

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