Trans councillor says ‘trans people are not scary’ after being elected

·Breaking News Editor, Yahoo News UK
·3-min read

Plymouth's first trans councillor has said being elected is an "incredible feeling", adding he wants to show that "trans people are not scary".

Labour's Dylan Tippetts, 21, was elected to represent Compton Ward in the city, after voters hit the polling stations on 5 May.

"To know that I can be there and show people that trans people are not scary. We are just normal people with hopes and dreams like everyone else," he told ITV News.

"It's just an incredible feeling."

Speaking after his victory, Tippetts said: "I'm in complete shock - part of me really wasn't expecting to win in this seat tonight and I didn't know whether we'd quite done enough.

"I didn't want to take any of the work we'd done for granted. It's a real pleasure to have won. For me it's a massive honour.

Read more: Tory council leader walks out of vote before results are announced

Dylan Tippett has become Plymouth council's first trans councillor. (Matthew Hodson)
Dylan Tippett has become Plymouth council's first trans councillor. (Matthew Hodson)

"I know at the moment trans people are being vilified by the media... and so to actually be a voice at the table for trans people is something I'm not going to take for granted.

"There's nothing to be scared of about being trans - we're just normal human beings with the same ambitions and dreams as everyone else and it's important that other people see that."

Labour MP Luke Pollard congratulated Tippetts on being elected, tweeting: "So proud of Dylan becoming the first ever Labour councillor for Compton Ward and Plymouth’s first ever trans councillor too.

"As our city’s first ever openly gay MP I am simply over the moon. Now the hard work really begins."

Plymouth's MP Luke Pollard congratulated Tippetts on his success (Twitter)
Plymouth's MP Luke Pollard congratulated Tippetts on his success (Twitter)

Tippetts' election comes as the Conservative Party suffered a bruising night at the polls, losing a number of councils across the country.

After full results were declared from 113 councils, the Tories had lost control of 10 authorities and suffered a net loss of 210 councillors.

Labour had a net gain of five councils and 94 seats, the Lib Dems had gained a council and 54 councillors, and the Greens had put on 43 councillors.

Sir Keir Starmer hailed a “turning point” for Labour as they took the totemic Tory authority in Wandsworth, won Westminster for the first time since its creation in 1964 and clinched victory in Barnet.

Boris Johnson conceded it had been a "tough night" for his party, as he faced a growing backlash from local Tories who blamed continuing public anger over lockdown parties in Downing Street for the losses.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a visit at the Field End Infant school, in South Ruislip, following the local government elections. Picture date: Friday May 6, 2022.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it had been a “mixed set of results” for the Tories. (PA)

Speaking to broadcasters during a visit to a school in his Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency, Johnson said it had been a “mixed set of results” for the Tories.

“It is mid-term,” he said.

“We had a tough night in some parts of the country but on the other hand in other parts of the country you are still seeing Conservatives going forward and making quite remarkable gains in places that haven’t voted Conservative for a long time, if ever.”

He said the “message from voters” was that they wanted the government to focus on getting the country through the economic aftermath of COVID.

“This government is absolutely determined to keep going with every ounce of compassion and ingenuity that we have, get people through the economic aftershocks,” he said.

However David Simmonds, the Tory MP for neighbouring Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner, said the issue of lockdown rule-breaking in Downing Street had kept coming up on the doorstep.

“He (Johnson) needs to find a way to restore confidence in the Government and I think there’s a number of ways he might do that,” he said.

“A change of leader would be one of them. Alternatively he needs to demonstrate what the alternative plan would be.”

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