A Labour candidate has been suspended from the party less than a week before a by-election after accusations of transphobia.

Laura Pascal is on the ballot for the Cazenove ward poll that was called after Cllr Caroline Woodley was elected Hackney's new mayor, meaning her seat was vacated.

A Labour source said Ms Pascal had been “administratively suspended” but that there would be no way to reflect this on voting slips for Thursday (January 18).

This means that if she were elected, Ms Pascal would have to sit as an independent councillor.

It comes after two other contenders in the race to replace Mayor Woodley accused the Labour candidate of making “anti-trans statements” on social media.

The Liberal Democrat candidate reposted a statement on X that called Ms Pascal’s social media activity “disappointing”, while the Greens candidate endorsed a message from her party labelling the comments “terrible”.

Ms Pascal had faced accusations of transphobia on the social media platform last week when posts she had made claiming that “trans women are not female” surfaced.

In an exchange with another user on X that began on July 29 last year, Ms Pascal claimed that “by definition” trans women are male.

The other poster responded: “Not according to British law”.

Ms Pascal then said: “I suggest you Google the term ‘legal fiction’”.

She went on to say that her statements were “biological fact”, adding: “Biology matters”.

Towards the end of the thread, Ms Pascal said: “My embodied reality as a member of the oppressed sex class is experienced in a world where biology has a significant impact.

“You can believe what you want but I believe that biological sex is a real thing and neither law, or some kind of new scientific concensus wld [sic] change that.”

Ms Pascal has since pinned this final post to the top of her X profile.

After news of her suspension broke, the Liberal Democrats’ candidate, Dave Raval, said: “I welcome the news that Labour has suspended their candidate in next week’s #Cazenove election, for her anti-LGBT views”.

The Green party’s Tamara Micner said: “I stand wholeheartedly with all communities in Hackney, whose diversity is our borough’s great strength.

“My aim in this by-election campaign has always been to bring the people of Cazenove together and help heal divisions.”

Ian Sharer will also stand in the Thursday by-election as the Conservative and Unionist Party candidate.