Lewes MP Norman Baker supports a proposed Liberal Democrats initiative, introduced by Women and Equalities Minister Jo Swinson, to tackle homophobic bullying in schools.

The initiative, launched on 21 November, will look at reducing the impact and frequency of anti-LGBT bullying which affects school children and young people.

Organisations have to bid for funding in order to produce a full review of all the current evidence and practices in schools relating to the issue.

Recent statistics from Stonewall state that 55% of young LGBT people have experienced homophobic bullying in schools while 68% heard homophobic language being used often in a learning environment.

Only 31% of young LGBT people surveyed stated that their school responded quickly to homophobic bullying when it occured.

Mr Baker said: “This sort of bullying can have long term debilitating effects on children and their education, which can permanently affect their life chances. We need to do everything we can to protect young people from these awful experiences.

“The Lib Dems have been at the forefront of equality for decades. Once again we can be proud of the real progress we have made in government developing and promoting progressive policies and initiatives like this one.”

In November, it was announced that several high schools were to receive specialist online help with homophobic bullying.

In July, the Church of England also said that it would work with Stonewall to tackle homophobic bullying in schools.