During his speech, the prime minister weighed in on sex education and transgender rights.
"It shouldn’t be controversial for parents to know what their children are being taught in school about relationships, patients should know when hospitals are talking about men or women," he said.
"And we shouldn’t get bullied into believing that people can be any sex they want to be. They can’t, a man is a man and a woman is a woman. That’s just common sense."
His comments follow a conference in which multiple Cabinet members have used their own speeches to mention transgender issues, with Health Secretary Steve Barclay announcing a ban on trans women from female NHS wards and Home Secretary Suella Braverman saying she would forbid sex offenders from changing gender.
Sunak's speech has since prompted X/Twitter users to hit back at his "disgraceful" remarks:
TRANS RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS AND IF YOU DISAGREE YOU ARE APART OF THE PROBLEM!!!!! \ud83c\udff3\ufe0f\u200d\u26a7\ufe0f
Well done Mhari Aurora for calling out these Tory hate crimes for what they are \ud83d\udc4f\n\nRishi Sunaks only targeting trans people because it\u2019s cheap & wont cost them any money to feed red meat to the worst Tory voters\n\n#ToryPartyConference #TransRightsAreHumanRights
If a single trans person gets attacked or murdered after today then Rishi Sunak should be arrested and charged.
— Kate Anderson Designs \ud83c\udf45 \ud83d\udc79 (@Kate Anderson Designs \ud83c\udf45 \ud83d\udc79)
Do you know how actually weird it is that Rishi is focusing his attention on trans people and not on fixing this burning country? It\u2019s acc bizarre at a technical level. Milk is \u00a330 and you care about how ppl identify? Joker
Hate crimes against trans people in Wales rose by 43% from 2021 to 2022\n\nPeople are not inherently hateful. \n\nThe surge in hatred towards trans people is the consequence of hate fuelled politics driven by weak leaders like Rishi Sunak who stand for nothing.
— Sioned Williams AS/MS (@Sioned Williams AS/MS)
@SkyNews Rishi thinking about trans people in his spare time:
Rishi sunak Be talking about family system and trans people meanwhile people in uk can\u2019t afford housing, energy and food. \n\nIt\u2019s just a pattern that every government takes when they have nothing to offer. \n\nGoes to a war and divide and rule.
We don't use this account very often anymore, but let us make something very clear. 1. Rishi Sunak is raising this topic as smoke and mirrors to cover the absolute cesspit that is the Tory party. 2. Trans people are not the problem and have never been the fucking problem.
what rishi said about the trans community in his #CPC23 speech today is beyond belief. how someone can hold this view in today's society is truly horrifying. we must come together to ensure the trans community are protected from this campaign of hate #TransRightsAreHumanRights
dear rishi sunak. im neen, im non binary, and this is my fianc\u00e9e raven, whos a trans woman. we have not once \u201cbullied\u201d anybody into using correct gender terms, weve only calmly talked about it. \n\nbut you know what has happened? we have been bullied. (1)
We're absolutely disgusted by Rishi Sunak's comments today. The constant anti-trans attacks by the tories + the tory press are sickening. So let us remind you, there are many people, queer + allies, who will be there to love uplift + support you even on difficult days like today
The desperation of the PM as he denies the existence of trans & non-binary people, and then follows it up with \u201clove means love\u201d\n\nRishi knows he\u2019s lost it and is desperately trying to claw back any support he can from the hard right to avoid expulsion
— Nic Keaney \ud83d\udc80 (@Nic Keaney \ud83d\udc80)
A day before Sunak's speech, Braverman attacked "gender ideology" and a "privileged woke minority", prompting heckling that saw Conservative London Assembly member Andrew Boff removed from the conference centre.
Boff told the PA news agency after his removal: "This Home Secretary was basically vilifying gay people and trans people by this attack on LGBT ideology, or gender ideology. It is fictitious, it is ridiculous.
"It is a signal to people who don’t like people who are LGBT+ people."