A Cheshire West and Chester councillor has defected to join a new party founded by a prominent activist, whose views on gender have prompted criticism from transgender rights campaigners.

Mandy Clare had been elected to represent Winsford Salt of the Earth in last May's local elections, but has announced she will now be joining the Party of Women.

The fledgling party was founded by Kellie-Jay Keen, also known as Posie Parker. The party’s website states that it was founded to ‘safely say’ that ‘no woman has a penis’, ‘no man has a vagina’, there’s ‘no such thing as non-binary’, and that 'transitioning children is abuse’.

Talking about her decision, Cllr Clare told the LDRS: "As a CWAC councillor I have been fighting against the erosion of women’s safety, language, dignity and all other ill effects resulting from what amounts to ideologically-driven and dangerous policy capture.

"This has happened globally. It has partly resulted from the legacy of public sector subscriptions to equality schemes that have ignored women."

Parker said she is an advocate of women's rights, but others have accused her of being trans-critical. She has spoken across the world on women and trans issues and is credited with coining the term 'adult human female' to define a woman. Last year she had to cancel a planned event in New Zealand following protests.

Cllr Clare, who represents Winsford Dene, had also previously been a Labour councillor but quit the party in 2022. She has also been a CWAC councillor for the Socialist Labour Party.

She said: “Labour will say I have moved around politically - I have - but my values haven’t changed. Lots of people feel politically homeless right now, which is one reason why our campaign last year was so successful.

“From my perspective, politics is lost and needs a shot in the arm - I hope this new party will provide just that."

She added: "I’m grateful to Cllr Simon Boone for his unwavering support and wish him all the best in his bid to stand as an independent MP candidate in Mid Cheshire.

"I am looking forward to being proudly part of a growing collective of courageous politicians at all levels, unafraid to speak the truth and unwilling to compromise on women’s rights."