BARNSLEY’S only Conservative MP is spearheading a campaign to ban transgender women from playing in female football teams ‘in the name of fairness and safety’.

Miriam Cates, who represents Penistone and Stocksbridge, has written to the Football Association (FA) in an attempt to change ‘unacceptable’ rules.

She has been backed by a total of 70 other MPs, including former Home Secretary Suella Braverman.

Under the current rules, players are currently able to register under their ‘affirmed gender’ rather than their biological sense.

Mrs Cates’ letter cites the recent controversy in a South Yorkshire women’s league where several clubs refused to play against a team fielding a transgender player after her shot broke an opponent’s knee.

The local MP told the FA: “It has been wonderful to watch the success of the Lionesses and the growing popularity of the women’s game, but continued success depends on women being able to compete safely and fairly at all levels of the game.

“We cannot ask women and girls to give up places on football teams and in competitions that should rightfully be theirs.

“Why should women have to choose between risking serious injury or not playing football?

“It is simply not tenable to allow men to compete in women’s football on a case-by-case basis, just as it would not be tenable for ‘some’ 16 year olds to compete with under nines.”

The letter goes on to point out that excluding males from women’s sport is considered a lawful form of sex discrimination under the Equality Act 2010, because it is a way of meeting the legitimate aim of safeguarding female competitors.

It also says women are entitled to dignity and privacy, yet will be ‘expected to share changing rooms with men’ under the FA’s current policy.

“Again this is completely unacceptable, particularly for many women from religious and ethnic minority backgrounds,” Mrs Cates added.

“Yet, because of the often aggressive nature of the campaign for trans inclusion, we know that many women and girls are afraid to speak up, even when they are deeply uncomfortable undressing in the presence of a male.”