'Celebrity Big Brother': Ann Widdecombe Slammed For Misgendering India Willoughby

She also expressed the belief gender reassignment surgery should be available on the NHS.

Celebrity Big Brother’s Ann Widdecombe is facing her second backlash in as many days after misgendering trans housemate India Willoughby.

The former Conservative MP, who previously caused controversy with her comments on the Harvey Weinstein scandal, sparked outrage when she referred to India as “he”.

During Thursday (4 January) night’s episode of the Channel 5 reality show, viewers saw the housemates discussing their names, with India joking she was named after her “mother’s favourite takeaway”.

Ann Widdecombe referred to India Willoughby as 'he'
Ann Widdecombe referred to India Willoughby as 'he'
Channel 5

Remarking to the rest of the group, Ann said: “I think he is pulling your leg.”

India quickly corrected Ann on her misgendering, to which Ann responded: “Oh I beg your pardon.”

Fans later saw India confront Ann about the incident, telling her being misgendered “hurts”. However, India added she didn’t believe it was said intentionally or with malice.

India corrected Ann on her misgendering of her
India corrected Ann on her misgendering of her
Channel 5

Nevertheless, some viewers branded Ann “offensive” and “disrespectful”, with some even going as far as to call her “transphobic”:

Ann’s misgendering of India followed an earlier conversation in which the former MP expressed the belief that gender reassignment surgery shouldn’t be available on the NHS.

She said: “The fact is that NHS can’t do everything, isn’t doing everything, and you’ve got to ask yourself what the priorities should be.

“Priorities are fine, as long as you’re not the one implementing them.”

When India pointed out many trans people can feel suicidal about being trapped in the wrong body and surgery may help save their lives, Ann continued: “But you still don’t have a lot of people getting what they need. And therefore you do have to face things and say ‘anything that everyone’s going through is the world to them, what do we as a society have to make priority if you cannot do everything?’”

‘Celebrity Big Brother’ continues on Friday at 9pm on Channel 5.

John Barnes

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