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Equalities minister Kemi Badenoch urged to quit by ex-LGBT Advisory Panel member

"I don't believe they have the best interests of the LGBT community in their minds and I don't think they understand us," says Jayne Ozanne of Badenoch and Minister for Women and Equalities Liz Truss

2021-03-12

Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: Wiki

Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch has been urged to "consider" her role by ex-LGBT Advisory Panel member Jayne Ozanne.

Ozanne, who has also resigned as a member of the Conservative Party, says Badenoch, along with Minister for Women and Equalities Liz Truss, do not understand LGBTQs.

Ozanne quit the panel along with two others this week over the government's inaction on banning the scientifically-debunked practise of LGBTQ conversion therapy.

After a debate on the practise in Parliament on Monday - prompted by a petition signed by 250,000 - Badenoch said the practise has "no place in a civilised society" but added "robust" laws are already in place to stop the most extreme examples, adding the government does not want to stop those who "seek spiritual counselling as they explore their sexual orientation."

She also used the term "end" rather than 'ban' when discussing how conversion therapy should be dealt with, leading to concerns from LGBTQ groups.

"Terrible speech"

"I have called on Kemi to consider her position after her terrible speech on Monday," Ozanne told the BBC yesterday.

"I don't believe they have the best interests of the LGBT community in their minds and I don't think they understand us," she said of Badenoch and Truss.

She added: "I do think there are others more suited to this role who have more time to engage, and more heart for the work."

Theresa May pledged to ban conversion therapy - which attempts to change or suppress a person's sexuality or gender identity - in 2018, with Boris Johnson echoing her claims in 2020.

However, there has been little movement until Monday's debate, the outcome of which is yet to be revealed.

When Attitude approached the Government Equalities Office for comment, a government spokesperson said: “Earlier this week the Minister set out the government’s desire to end conversion therapy, making it clear that the practice has no place in a civilised society. We are working to bring forward plans to do so shortly.”

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