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Conservative MP pleads with party to go ahead with ‘conversion therapy’ ban

"This is something we absolutely need to see followed through"

By Charlotte Manning

Dehenna Davison
Dehenna Davison made her stance on 'conversion therapy' clear at the Conservative Party conference (Image: Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Dehenna Davison, the MP for Bishop Auckland, has made a call to the rest of the Conservative Party to go ahead with the ban on so-called conversion therapy.

Rishi Sunak is currently expected to halt plans to ban on the practice, five years after it was promised by then-Prime Minister Theresa May as a Conservative Party pledge. 

According to reports from The Sunday Times last month, the government are looking to announce that the legislation will no longer be brought forward. 

This is believed to be due to ministers’ perception that a ban “has proven problematic or ineffective in other countries.”

“We’ve got a decision to make as a party on what we do with regards to conversion therapy”

However, Davison, who is became the Tory Party’s first openly bisexual MP when she came out in 2021, made her stance clear that the practice must be banned.

She gave her thoughts at the Pride Reception at the Conservative Party conference, hosted by LGBT+ Conservatives and LGBT+ charity Stonewall.

“We’ve got a decision to make as a party on what we do with regards to conversion therapy,” she told the room on Sunday (1 October), according to PoliticsHome.

She continued: “I imagine many of us in this room are pretty united in the direction that we want to see. So all I’m going to say is ‘be noisy’. We need you over the next few days, few weeks – please be noisy.

“This is something we absolutely need to see followed through”

“Make it known to your Members of Parliament, to your counsellors, and indeed members of the government that this is something we absolutely need to see followed through.”

She reportedly went on to tell the audience that she doesn’t want “to see a single step backwards” and added: “Let’s be the party that follows through on our commitment to end conversion therapy once and for all for the entire LGBT community.”

‘Conversion therapy’ is a debunked and outdated practice that seeks to change a person’s sexuality and/or gender identity.

The World Health Organization and many health experts and organisations globally have long condemned the practice.

It is thought House of Commons leader Penny Mourdant drafted a new version of the legislation back in the spring, but it is yet to be published. But there are concerns it may soon be completely dropped.

A government spokesman previously told Attitude: “No one in this country should be harmed or harassed for who they are and attempts at so-called ‘conversion therapy’ are abhorrent. 

“That is why we are carefully considering this very complex issue.”