Conservatives accuse Hutton over equality in his own department

Tony Grew July 8, 2008
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A senior Tory has rejected criticism from a Cabinet minister that the party is not committed to equality.

Business Secretary John Hutton told at the launch of new Stonewall research into productivity at work among gay, bisexual and lesbian people that he “remained to be convinced” that the Conservative party has fully embraced the need for equality.

In a robust response, Theresa May, Shadow Minister for Women and Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, said:

“John Hutton should concentrate on getting his own house in order before lecturing others.

“The Department for Business is one of the worst performing government departments on equality measures, and he should concentrate on improving that rather than making political attacks.

“The Conservative Party has been calling for the Government to get a move on and publish the Equality Bill for months.

“Even now we have only had an unclear statement from Harriet Harman severely lacking in detail.

“I have said that as a party we will work with the Government on this Bill to ensure that it is as effective as possible.

“Equality for gay, bisexual and lesbian people is a fundamental principle that we fully support and the Conservative Party is proud to be part of Stonewall’s Diversity Champions programme.”

The party joined the programme in 2006.

Employers work with Stonewall to promote lesbian, gay and bisexual equality in the workplace and share best practice with other companies. More than 400 companies employing four million people are members.

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