A Conservative candidate vying to be Windsor's next MP has been accused of sharing transphobic social media posts.

Jack Rankin, who was selected as a candidate earlier this month, posted on Twitter in July this year appearing to describe LGBTQ rights charity Stonewall as “dangerous” and criticised public and corporate funding of the organisation.

His comments came in a quote tweet of a Stonewall post calling for LGBTQ-inclusive education from nursery school level.

Rankin’s tweets also attacked gender identity learning resources in a comment on another account’s post, saying: “These people are groomers and should be on the sex offender list, not near primary schools.”

These posts were condemned as transphobic by the charity Trans Safety Network, who described the reference to ‘groomers’ as an anti-LGBTQ conspiracy theory.

Trans Safety Network’s researcher Mallory Moore said: “There’s a large range of conspiracy theories about sex education which have been accelerated by members of the current Conservative Party and a lot of misinformation about what grooming is in terms of safeguarding children.

“We are really alarmed about it because the last two years have seen a large uptick in attacks on events for children that introduce them to LGBTQ identities in a safe environment.”

The Anti-Defamation League has decried the narrative around LGBTQ people being child groomers as “false and malicious.”

A transgender person is someone whose gender identity differs from the sex assigned at birth. Gender reassignment is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010.

Home Office figures from 2022 showed a 56 per cent increase in reported hate crimes against transgender people compared to the previous year.

Moore added: “Young people have a diverse range of needs and personalities and differences; they need to grow up to express those and be themselves.

“The idea that people supporting this are groomers or are a harm to young people are wrong.”

Rankin told the Local Democracy Reporting Service he opposes discrimination against LGBTQ people, but said he believes there is a “safeguarding issue” to be considered around children.

He said: "I support the right of all people to live their lives free from harassment and no one should be discriminated against on the basis of their sex, sexuality or gender reassignment or any other protected characteristic. I will stand up against discrimination wherever I see it.

“But in recent years, a number of organisations have been pushing a politically contentious agenda in schools, an agenda that tells children they may have been ‘born in the wrong body’ and promotes the permanent and irreversible medical and surgical treatments to children.”

He also supported a government-commissioned review into materials used in schools.

Government guidance on transgender policy for schools had been expected to be released before the summer holidays, but was delayed.

Rankin added: “If I am elected, I will be campaigning on full transparency for parents to know what is taught in schools and by whom, and ensure that any taxpayer money which is used to support sexual and relationship education is done so with a balanced, non-political approach."

Moore added: "These resources he attacked are produced by expert groups to help protect children and create safe educational environments.”

Stonewall and CCHQ have been contacted for comment.