FORMER shadow chancellor John McDonnell spoke out on his views on trans rights after he was criticised for attending an ‘in conversation event' with a controversial Oxford University professor.

Last week's event, which was hosted by the History Faculty, saw the Labour politician speak with history Professor Selina Todd about her new book.

Professor Todd has attracted criticism for 'anti-trans' comments on a number of occasions, even though she continues to deny the allegations.

After the Oxford University Labour Club (OULC) released a statement condemning the decision of the backbencher to join the event, he confirmed he does not endorse the academic's views.

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Mr McDonnell said: "Last week I participated in an In Conversation event with Selina Todd to discuss her recent book, which I believe is a major contribution to the discussion about social mobility.

"This should not be interpreted as an endorsement of her views on trans issues or any other issue.

"It was simply an enjoyable and I hope interesting discussion about a book.

"With regard to the views expressed by the Oxford Labour Club, which I fully appreciate, my only comment is that throughout my life I have campaigned for equality and respect for human rights.

"I have found that there comes a tipping point in any movement for human rights, especially when on the edge of an enormous breakthrough, when the better strategy can sometimes be to engage in a dialogue that enables one to comprehend the concerns of others no matter how unfounded and in doing so overcome them."