A Norfolk MP has waded into a row which has created huge waves in the sport of sea fishing, after half the England women's team quit in protest when a transwoman was named among them.

Duncan Baker, who represents North Norfolk, raised the issue in parliament in support of one of his constituents, Wendy Metcalfe, a leading figure in the sport.

Miss Metcalfe is among those to have expressed concerns over the decision by the Angling Trust to include Becky Lee Birtwhistle, who was born male, in the women's squad.

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Eastern Daily Press: Becky Lee BirtwhistleBecky Lee Birtwhistle (Image: Supplied)

They claim male-born competitors have an unfair physical advantage, with their upper body strength allowing them to cast further, and restrict the representation of women.

In a parliamentary question, Mr Baker said: "Beach fishing requires significant upper body strength, strength in which a male-born competitor would have a distinct advantage over a woman."

He called on the government to urge the Angling Trust to consider guidance from the Sports Council on who should be eligible for women's teams.

Miss Metcalfe, 67, from Holt, said: “It’s a sport I’ve done all my life: I’ve fished ever since I was a kid and when you get to the pinnacle of your career in any sport you want to think that you could one day represent your country.

“You’ve got young girls coming through the ranks now who have nothing to look forward to because they know they won’t be able to get into the team. It’s unfair and has to be stopped. I want it banned.”

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Eastern Daily Press: Wendy Metcalfe with her former England ladies' angling teammatesWendy Metcalfe with her former England ladies' angling teammates (Image: Supplied)

“[Miss Lee Birtwhistle] has an advantage with her large frame and upper body strength," Miss Metcalfe said.

“You have to be able to cast quite a distance, so if you can cast a long way you’ve got an advantage. I’ve fished many, many matches against the men and if the fish are a long way out I don’t get a look in.

Miss Metcalfe has been a campaigning figure for women's involvement in the sport.

She previously led the charge to get the women’s team into the Home Nations shore fishing championships, which was previously exclusive to men.

Miss Lee Birtwhistle first competed with England in 2018.

Earlier this month, three members of the current six-strong squad refused to compete in this year's Home Nations championships in North Wales after Miss Lee Birtwhistle was named in the team.

The fallout meant England did not enter a women’s team, despite winning gold last year.

It comes at a time when the issue of transwomen competing in women's sports is increasingly under the spotlight.

A number of high profile sportswomen, including Martina Navratilova and Sharron Davies, have been extremely critical of the practice.