Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: mikefreer.com
Tory politician Mike Freer has been appointed as equalities minister, it was announced yesterday.
Freer, who is gay, will also serve as Minister for Exports in the Department for International Trade following Prime Minister Boris Johnson's recent government reshuffle.
Freer was first elected as a Member of Parliament for Finchley and Golders Green in May 2010. He entered into a civil partnership with Angelo Crolla in 2007. The pair then married in 2015.
Liz Truss, who was recently promoted to the role of Foreign Secretary, will remain as Minister for Women and Equalities, a position she took over in September 2019.
"He will support the Minister for Women and Equalities"
A UK government announcement reads: "The Queen has been pleased to approve the appointment of Mike Freer MP as a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Equalities) at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, in addition to his current role as a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for International Trade. He will support the Minister for Women and Equalities (rt Hon Liz Truss MP) and the Minister of State for Equalities (Kemi Badenoch MP).
News of Freer's appointment follows backlash over Badenoch calling trans women "men" in recently-leaked audio from 2018.
Speaking to Attitude this week, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan criticised Badenoch's comments, saying: "I think those comments don’t help. I think they cause huge offense. [...] The trans community is one of the most vulnerable communities in our society. We should be looking to support them, rather than playing on stereotypes or fears.”
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The government also recently announced the appointment of 'LGBT Business Champion' Iain Anderson.
In a statement, Anderson said: “I think it’s really exciting that for the first time Government is creating an LGBT champion around business. I’m really excited about that. I think the UK can be a beacon for LGBT progress at work. For customers, for employees, for everybody in the supply chain.
“So making that happen and having some tangible action for LGBT people in work, of all sizes. That’s what really excites me. I’m really looking forward to taking on this role. I think the old phrase ‘What you can’t see, you can’t be’ is really important in this context.”
The Attitude October issue is out now.