In a speech praising Yvette Cooper’s role in assisting the Coalition with its same-sex marriage law, Labour peer Lord Alli took a pop at Maria Miller, the Culture Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities.
Speaking last night at an LGBT Labour dinner attended by Labour leader Ed Miliband, Lord Alli contrasted Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper’s performance in the Commons, during last year’s debates, against that of the Culture Secretary.
At the time Ms Cooper had the additional responsibility of being Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities.
Lord Alli said: “It was extraordinary to watch Yvette in the House of Commons, as [she] argued with passion, belief and gave us all comfort. And I contrasted that to Maria Miller who looked like a rabbit scared in the headlights”. The peer added that Ms Cooper’s performance was “an amazing thing to see”.
In response, a Tory source told PinkNews.co.uk on Friday afternoon: “Lord Alli can play politics as much as he likes, but it was the Conservative Party, and Maria Miller, who actually got equal marriage into law.”
Here is Lord Alli’s speech in full: -
I want to thank three people and two organisations. Let me start with the three people: the first is Tony Blair. In starting this journey, when they got tough at the beginning, he didn’t walk away. He allowed us to have equal age of consent, same-sex adoption, and all the other great things.
The second person is Yvette Cooper. It was extraordinary to watch Yvette in the House of Commons as you argued with passion, belief and gave us all comfort. And I contrasted that to Maria Miller who looked like a rabbit scared in the headlights – and it was an amazing thing to see.
And probably for me the silent hero in the same-sex marriage debate is our leader Ed Miliband. He did an extraordinary thing, to put in the time and effort that he did. The letters that he wrote, the people that he called, and the amount of time he took to try and make sure this bill went through. And to do all of that, and not take the credit for it, I salute you.
And to two organisations: Stonewall for everything they did, but not to forget it’s people in this room in this party, Michael Cashman and Simon Fanshawe, who founded Stonewall, and we should thank them too.
And finally to this party: it’s extraordinary, it’s a privilege to be part of this organisation. And if you know why we need to be elected to government: look at Uganda; look at Russian, look at India, there’s much work to be done.