PITY poor David Lammy. A father of three and perhaps, bless him, he thinks the stork brought them.

The Shadow Justice Secretary has had a frustrating week in which he and medical fact parted ways and, instead, Mr Lammy had himself an inexplicable little break from reality in which he described scientific techniques that don't currently exist.

But Lammy is far from the only one of his peers experiencing confusion. The Labour Party has had a right mare of it this week, huffing, puffing, harrumphing and fantasising in answer to the question: "Is it transphobic to say that only women have a cervix?"

Rosie Duffield MP claimed she would be unable to attend the party conference in Brighton due to threats and allegations of transphobia after asserting her belief that only women have a cervix.

In the wake of this, politician after politician has claimed no one is interested in trans rights on the doorstep. Instead, it's all a distraction from the fuel crisis, Labour's big plans to become a credible opposition party and a gift to the Tories.

And yet, and yet... it doesn't take a brilliant political mind to clock that this was, even if not with the general public, going to be a media talking point.

Sir Keir Starmer was asked about the issue on The Marr Show. He said Ms Duffield was wrong to say it - as in, she shouldn't have said it and it's factually incorrect.

That was obviously not going to be the end of the matter so, of course, someone at Labour HQ gathered their wits to them and came up with a boilerplate response designed to dance MPs right out of trouble.

But they forgot to mention to Rachel Reeves who, in an excruciating exchange with LBC's Nick Ferrari, huffed up a lung as she awkwardly cycled through frustration and confusion while trying to formulate a reply. For viewers watching the clip online, her eye rolling serves as a decent distraction but it must have been alarming for listeners without corresponding visuals to hear her panting heavily as she tried to work out what to say next.

Eventually the Shadow Chancellor settled on telling her host, "I wouldn't say that it was transphobic to say that," while also chiding him for inappropriately asking her about "women's body parts". Which is notable - caught in a crunch she only mentioned women in relation to cervixes.

By the time it came to David Lammy's turn all bets were off and he opted for the Dawn Butler technique of just making stuff up. Last year the Labour MP for Brent tried to get away with saying that babies are born without a sex, which was a new one for all concerned.

Mr Lammy ramped it up a notch with a dash of science fiction. "Is it transphobic to say that only women have a cervix?" Like Rachel Reeves, Mr Lammy said it was not transphobic to say so. Like Sir Keir he also said it is factually incorrect. Why? Well, because people can grow a cervix. While trans women can't have ovaries, Mr Lammy said, "I understand that a cervix is something you can have after various procedures, hormone treatment, all the rest of it."

From where does he gain this understanding? Has someone been on the wind up and he's missed the joke? Speaking of which, hats off to whoever was first to hear Daniel Craig call for a female James Bond and coin On Her Majesty's Secret Cervix.

Mr Lammy is already on the backfoot on this issue this week after calling women with concerns about their rights "dinosaurs" who are trying to "hoard rights". Where does a dinosaur hoard its rights? Do they click their claws together three times and grow a pouch? Anything's possible in Lammy Land.

One of the responses to the video of Mr Lammy on Twitter suggested that the politician should be given a break as he's "not a scientist". It doesn't take a PhD to have a handle on basic human biology.

Though Mr Lammy is not alone in his confusion. Earlier this year, a survey by a concerned senior obstetrics and gynaecology registrar at Addenbrookes hospital in Cambridge found that fewer than half of Britons could correctly label a diagram of the female anatomy. So perhaps we should cut him a break. Maybe he's done everyone a favour by encouraging folk to learn a little bit more about an oft-misunderstood anatomical area.

Lack of general knowledge is one of many reasons that clear communications are important.

The Lancet, the medical journal, last week released an issue with a special cover that aimed to tackle shame around menstruation. On its front cover it referred to "Bodies with vaginas".

Bodies with vaginas. An article about the prostate, unsurprisingly, merely referred to "men".

This is fairly common trope. A health website, both articles published on the same day, had headlines referring to "human papillomavirus in men" and "human papillomavirus in vulva owners".

Men are men, but women are reduced to their body parts. It's dehumanising, it's misogynistic and dear God, it's the last thing we need. Inclusive language that is clear, easy to understand and aids access to medical care is absolutely vital but this is not it.

Mr Lammy might also like to find himself a credible source and do some reading. Live on air, he's asserted confused and misleading information on a topic he clearly has little grasp of.

That is not good enough. The entirely unprepared response across the Labour party to questioning this week has been emphatically not good enough.

That's not to say answering that question, from a political perspective, is easy. One certainty of this topic is that you will not please all of the people, and it won't be long before those you do please have pivoted to displeasure.

"What is a woman?" has become one of the most divisive political questions of the age and any talk around the topic needs to be handled with respect, empathy and insight - not vaguely riffing it up as you go along.

How on earth are women and trans women to have any confidence in politicians' decision making powers over their lives when they don't have a grasp of basic facts? How do we trust someone so willing to pontificate on something they obviously do not understand?

Luckily, Labour doesn't need to wait for a miracle of science to start coming up with some sensible dialogue on this issue. The facts are out there, you just have to know where to look.