Only 239 out of 785 members of the European Parliament have signed a declaration against homophobic bullying.

Liberal Democrat MEP Baroness Sarah Ludford, a member of the European Parliament’s intergroup on gay and lesbian rights, said:

“While this result clearly signifies that combating homophobic bullying is more than a marginal issue for MEPs, we must work harder to make a majority understand the degree of misery and exclusion it can cause and why it is an important equalities matter at European as well as national level.”

“Recent statements from the Polish education minister about preventing the ‘propagation’ of homosexuality in schools – shades of section 28! – show how far we still have to go to get Europe-wide action to stop discrimination.”

The declaration called for the European Parliament to expand its campaign against discrimination, and to actively encourage member states to support their gay communities.

It also called for schools across Europe to formulate a plan for fighting homophobia, highlighting the traumatic effects bullying can have on victims.

A declaration in the European Parliament is the equivalent of an early day motion in the House of Commons.

Only 239 signatures will not be enough for the declaration to be adopted by the full parliament.