The beatification of Jamie Wallis

Apr 3, 2022 by

by Joanna Williams, spiked:

The reputation of Jamie Wallis, MP for Bridgend, has undergone quite the transformation. Just days ago, he was best known for being arrested and fined for crashing his car and fleeing the scene. Now he is being singled out for praise in parliament by the prime minister. Why? Because he has announced he is transgender.

In a statement issued yesterday, Wallis revealed he has gender dysphoria. He also revealed that at the time he crashed his car last year, he was suffering from PTSD, after having been raped: ‘A few months back, in September, I “hooked up” with someone who I met online and when I chose to say “no” on the basis that he wouldn’t wear a condom he chose to rape me.’ And he has also been the victim of blackmail following a ‘close call’ in 2020, when he was ‘outed’ after someone sent compromising photographs to his father and other family members. Gender dysphoria, rape, blackmail. It’s hard not to feel sympathy for Wallis.

The response to his statement is quite revealing. It shows how much society has changed in a very short space of time. Back in 2019, when Wallis was first elected to parliament, he was profiled in his local paper as a married man with two young daughters, then aged six and three. Go back a couple of decades and Wallis would be fending off the scandal of an extramarital relationship.

Wallis has been at the centre of other scandals, too. In 2020 the papers exposed his stake in a ‘sugar daddy’ website offering ‘students’, ‘single parents’ and ‘people short of money’ the chance to be ‘sponsored’ by wealthy ‘executives, international businessmen and diplomats’.

But yesterday, praise was lavished on him. Boris Johnson applauded his bravery during Prime Minister’s Questions. Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat declared: ‘This is a very brave statement.’ Fellow Tory Andrew Bowie said: ‘Incredibly brave of you to post this mate. Proud of you. All power to you.’ Labour’s Wes Streeting was not to be outdone: ‘Sending you love and solidarity from the other side of the Commons. This is hugely courageous of you to share.’

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