A meeting where a bid to ban transgender women from a women's swimming pond was being discussed had to be abandoned after it degenerated into shouting.

The Kenwood Ladies Pond Association's annual meeting yesterday (Sunday March 3) voted on whether trans women would effectively be banned from the natural pool on Hampstead Heath.

The two-hour meeting had begun with a plea for respect and kindness but organisers closed it after it descended into acrimony, the Daily Mail reported.

Transgender women, including men identifying as women, have been entitled to use the pond since 2010, but a KLPA member had proposed changing the group's constitution "so that only those born female in sex can use the pond". 

Campaigners retorted with cries of 'traitors' and 'shame on you' after around three quarters of the 200 people present voted to continue allowing trans women to use the pond.

A group at the meeting had raised fears about feeling unsafe while using the pond due to ongoing 'inclusivity' towards trans swimmers.

Insiders told the Mail some present had accused the KLPA management committee, who are all women, of favouring the rights of transgender women over those who had been born female.

Campaigner Venice Allan posted a video on X of herself standing on a chair accusing those who had voted against banning trans women of making attacks on women and girls possible.

She added: "I want you to wake up in the middle of the night and remember that you made that act of male sexual violence in a sacred women's space possible."

The ladies pond has been catering to women since 1926. It has been open to transgender women since 2010, when the City of London Corporation, which runs Hampstead Heath, adopted a new gender identity policy.

Critics of the KLPA demanded a change in the wording of its constitution to include the phrase 'biological female', claiming changing rooms and pools could be single-sex areas under human rights law.

They also argued that allowing trans women effectively bars women from religious communities whose beliefs mean they can swim only in female-only environments.

However, members defending trans rights argued that enforcing a ban would not only be unfair and unlawful but also hard to implement.

The KLPA has previously said that the City of London Corporation controls who swims at the pond and not the association.

KLPA co-chairs Beth Feresten and Pauline Latchem told the Ham & High last week that officers believe barring trans women would be unlawful under the Equality Act 2010.

In a statement to the Mail, the KLPA said all women were welcome to join.