Skip to main content

Home News News UK

Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch pauses ‘conversion therapy’ ban

Kemi Badenoch is said to have paused work on the ban to review the plans.

By Emily Maskell

Kemi Badenoch
Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch (Image: Chris McAndrew / UK Parliament)

The newly appointed Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch has paused work to ban the widely debunked practice ‘conversion therapy’, according to reports.

Badenoch returned to the Equalities brief after the UK’s third Prime Minister in as many months, Rishi Sunak, appointed her to the role.

ITV News reports Badenoch has asked to review the current plans on the ban.

The broadcaster reports Badenoch’s predecessor, Nadhim Zahawi, had agreed that a Joint Committee of MPs and Lords would review the legislation in the Spring of next year to expedite the ban.

That plan is now on hold until Badenoch agrees to move forward.

The current ‘conversion therapy’ ban proposal is a watered-down legislation that has left trans people left unprotected. Under Boris Johnson, the government said, “separate work” was being carried out on a ‘conversion therapy’ ban for trans people.

The promise to ban ‘conversion therapy’ dates back to 2018 under then Prime Minister, Theresa May.

Frustration about the ban’s constant state of flux is shared by the organisation Ban Conversion Therapy, which has called for “no more delays” on a full ban.

A government spokesperson in the equalities department told ITV News: “The minister for women and equalities will consider the responses to the public consultation on conversion practices before responding in due course.”

“We have taken steps to ensure that victims of conversion practices have access to the support they need through a new service which launched in September.”

Badenoch was re-appointed as Minister for Women and Equalities but also Secretary of State for International Trade in the latest PM’s, Rishi Sunak, new cabinet.

The 42-year-old Saffron Walden MP was previously Minister of State for Equalities in Boris Johnson’s cabinet reshuffle of September 2021, she regained in July of 2022 and stood in the Conservative Party leadership election to succeed Johnson.

The appointment of Equalities Minister has been seen with some irony considering Badenoch has repeatedly been under fire for past troublesome comments.

Badenoch reportedly mocked LGBTQ rights, questioned same-sex marriage and referred to trans women as “men” in recordings from 2018.

The Equalities Office said the comments were taken “out of context”.

Badenoch has also come to the defence of Professor Kathleen Stock, who resigned from her role at the University of Sussex in November 2021 after protests against her views on sex and gender.

Last year the politician was urged to resign by colleague Jayne Ozanne, a member of a now-defunct LGBT advisory panel, after she spoke of an “end” to so-called ‘conversion therapy’ rather than a total ban of the abhorrent practice during a debate in the House of Commons.

Adding fuel to the fire, Badenoch has also been reported to have urged the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to drop plans for a trans-inclusive policy for self-ID in the workplace. 

Badenoch’s track record is not a hopeful sign for the UK’s LGBTQ+ community who have shared “deep concern” surrounding her anti-trans stances.