Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said that transgender women should be treated as women.
It comes amid a row in the party as to whether transgender women should be eligible to stand in all-women shortlists.
In a wide ranging interview with the BBC, Mr Corbyn said Labour would make 8,000 homes available immediately for rough sleepers, as well as giving councils the powers to seize homes that are deliberately left empty.
He also struggled to name anything positive that had been achieved by capitalism, and said he would not be introducing a Chinese economy into Britain.
“The position of the party is that where you have self-identified as a woman, then you are treated as a woman,” Mr Corbyn told The Andrew Marr Show.
“These people have been through a big decision, a big process, with trauma. Let’s look at the human beings in front of us.”
Labour activist Jennifer James has been barred from holding office or representing Labour while an investigation is conducted into her activity online.
Ms James created a crowdfund campaign to mount a legal challenge against Labour’s policy on transgender women in female only elections.
Mr Corbyn said he would talk with feminist groups with concerns “and see if we can find some way forward”.
David Lidington, Theresa May’s de facto deputy prime minister, suggested the Government was still planning to consult on changing legal gender.
“It was one of the issues that Justine (Greening) was talking about putting out to public consultation and that is still the case,” he told Marr.
And asked about whether a trans woman is a woman, he said: “I think that that’s a matter for her, she should be treated as a woman but to be honest I don’t spend time sort of perhaps thinking about this.
“I would try to deal with the person in front of me as they are with respect to that person whatever their background however they describe themselves.”
He added: “Once you try to categorise people put them in pigeonholes, you get into all sorts of difficulties.”
The Labour leader also said his government would immediately purchase 8,000 properties across the country to give housing those that are currently homeless.
He added: “We would give local authorities the power to take over deliberately kept empty properties, because there’s something grossly insulting about the idea you’d build some luxury block, you look at the pictures all around us at London, deliberately keep it empty knowing that with the property price inflation, the investor is going to make 10, 12% a year.”
Asked if there was anything that capitalism gets right, Mr Corbyn replied: “It does invest, mainly for its own benefit but it does of course get challenged.
“Isn’t that what social movements are about? Isn’t that what trade movements are about? Isn’t that what our democracy is about?”
It was also pointed out to Mr Corbyn that China’s economy had grown since it made a series of market-based reforms.
“I’m not going to give you the Chinese economy, absolutely not,” said Mr Corbyn.
“I’m just making the point that China has grown massively, it’s economy has grown, since 1949 and then after the death of Mao and the great leap forward and so on.
“It has taken a lot of people out of poverty. There are however, in China, massive issues of environmental destruction and degradation, as well as a massive issue of human rights.”