A government equality adviser has quit her role over what she claims is a “hostile environment” for LGBT people.
Jayne Ozanne resigned her membership of the government’s LGBT+ advisory panel and claimed top ministers were “ignorant” on issues.
“I’ve been increasingly concerned about what is seen to be a hostile environment for LGBT people among this administration,” she said in an interview with ITV.
“Over the years which the advisory panel has met, we’ve seen an increasing lack of engagement and the actions of ministers have frankly been against our advice.”
The LGBT+ advisory panel is made up of independent advisers appointed by the women and equalities minister, currently Liz Truss, to provide insight, expertise and guidance on LGBT issues, policy, and interests.
Ms Ozanne said both Ms Truss and Kemi Badenoch, the equalities minister, were known in the LGBT+ community as the “ministers for inequality”.
“I don’t believe that they understand LGBT people, particularly trans people,” she said.
“I’ve sat in meetings and I’ve been astonished about how ignorant they are on issues that affect the real lives, particularly of younger people.”
She has also resigned as a member of the Conservative Party and expressed fears the Tories were “going back to the days” of Margaret Thatcher and Section 28, a law that prohibited the “promotion of homosexuality” by local authorities.
Ms Ozanne added: “The language that I hear from them is of us being woke, or of being loud lobby groups, and what they don’t seem to understand is the reason we have to shout is because we are hurting, because there are people who are vulnerable who are going unheard and unnoticed.
“I do not believe this Tory government, sadly, have the best wishes of the LGBT community at heart.
“Instead we seem to have a Trumpesque mode of operation where they’re listening to the right-wing evangelicals and those frankly who want to take us back.”
She highlighted a debate in parliament on “gay conversion” therapies as having prompted her decision to quit.
On Monday night, MPs had put pressure on the government to set out a timetable to fulfil its promise to end the practice in the UK.
Ms Badenoch told a Westminster Hall debate that the government was “committed to ending conversion therapy in the UK and we take the issue very seriously”.
She added ministers would “set out our next steps soon”.
Subscribe to the All Out Politics podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Spreaker
A government spokesman said on Wednesday: “The government is committed to building a country in which everyone, no matter their sexuality, race or religion, is free to live their lives as they choose.
“We have repeatedly made clear that we will take action to end conversion therapy and we are working to bring forward plans to do so shortly.”
Labour’s shadow equalities secretary Marsha de Cordova accused ministers of having “prevaricated over banning conversion therapy for far too long, despite their clear promise to do exactly that”.
“This is a pattern of behaviour which seeks to dismiss the real impact of the discrimination experienced by so many and takes us back to the days of Thatcher,” she added.
“The government must get on with setting out a clear plan now which will see an end to this inhumane practice that has no place in modern Britain.”
Source: Read Full Article