"When Rod Liddle turns the light off at night, how does he know he's a man?"

This was a tweet Emily Brothers pointed out in response to Sun columnist Rod Liddle who asked how the blind, transgender, Labour MP candidate for Sutton and Cheam knew she was "the wrong sex".

Miss Brothers, 50,came out as transgender on Wednesday, December 10. Her decision was heralded as brave and was widely supported, most notably by the leader of the Labour Party Ed Miliband.

The following day in a comment piece in The Sun newspaper, Rod Liddle wrote in his column 'Emily Brothers is hoping to become Labour's first blind, transgendered MP' before adding 'thing is though... being blind, how did she know she was the wrong sex?'.

He apologised this morning tweeting "I wish Emily the very best and I'd definitely vote for her if I lived in Sutton and Cheam. I am sorry for the poor joke!"

The piece has caused anger among many and there has been a petition created calling on The Sun to "apologise for the dehumanising article on Emily Brothers."

The petition reads: "Emily Brothers is standing as MP for the constituency of Sutton and Cheam in the next General Election.

"Being both a trans woman and blind, she has already come under attack from journalists, in particular Rodd Liddle of the Sun, who on the 10th of December said that: "Thing is... being blind, how did she know she was the wrong sex."

"By reducing her down to her blindness and transness, Liddle has contributed to the dehumanisation and opression of trans people and those with disabilities, and has helped uphold ableist and transphobic norms in politics.

"We deserve better, and as such The Sun should publically apologise."

Even her political rivals have joined the growing number of voices speaking out against the piece, Sutton and Cheam's Liberal Democrat MP Paul Burstow tweeted that the article was "shocking" Conservative hopeful Paul Scully said "Emily's brave positive statement is in stark contrast to the jaw-droppingly crass response from @TheSunNewspaper" and NHA party member Dave Ash said "vile and unpleasant on so many levels".

Emily Brothers said: "I think it's a cheap comment which has a major impact on how some people feel about the risk and negativity that they would feel if they were to come out as transgender.

"The column was not representative of how people transgender, even though they might not feel (empathy) with what people go through in order to transition.

"I will be able to deal with it but it is upsetting for the people around me an upsetting for other people.

"I've had great support but my concern is that the impact of the Rod Liddle piece may put off other people who are struggling with their identities.

"I've seen it posted on Twitter that somebody said "when Rod Liddle turns the light off at night does he forget he's a man?"

Dylan Sharpe, Head of PR at the Sun, posted on Twitter that the piece was Rod Liddle's column and 'therefore his opinion and not the paper's.

To view the petition click here.