David Cameron: Gay equality is at the centre of the Conservative Party’s mission
Prime Minister David Cameron has paid tribute to reform within his party on gay rights.
The Tory PM made the comments in his speech to the Conservative Party’s annual conference, ten years after his election as party leader in 2005.
He told the conference: “Ten years ago I stood on a stage quite like this one, and I said that if we changed our party, we could change our country.
“We’ve done that together.
“It wasn’t just me that put social justice, tackling climate change, equality for gay people, and helping the world’s poorest at the centre of the Conservative Party’s mission. We all did.”
He added later on: “We can talk all we like about opportunity, but it is meaningless unless people are really judged equally.
“Think about it like this: opportunity doesn’t mean much to a British Muslim if he walks down the street and is abused for his faith.
“Opportunity doesn’t mean much to a black person constantly stopped and searched by the police because of the colour of their skin.
“Opportunity doesn’t mean much to a gay person rejected for a job because of the person they love. It doesn’t mean much to a disabled person prevented from doing what they’re good at because of who they are.”
“The point is, you can’t have true opportunity without real equality, and I want our party to get this right. The party of the fair chance. The party of the equal shot.
“I want us, the Conservatives, to end discrimination and finish the fight for real equality in our country today.”
His comments follow that of Women and Equalities Minister Nicky Morgan, who sought to claim her party as the real party of equality.
She said: “Equality for us isn’t about quotas, pink vans or separate train carriages. Instead it’s about that core Conservative philosophy, which says the fact you happen to be a woman, to be gay, to be from an ethnic minority, should never be a barrier to you achieving your all.
“Unlike the Labour party, we practice what we preach – because women are the backbone of this party, and unlike Jeremy Corbyn, we have put them at the forefront of this government. That belief in equality of opportunity has been our guiding principle for the past five years.”
It emerged yesterday that the UK is no longer the best country in Europe on LGBT rights, after topping ILGA-Europe’s rankings for four years in a row.
Prime Minister David Cameron has repeatedly cited the UK’s ranking in the past, saying just two months ago: “Together we should be proud to live in a country judged to be the best place in Europe if you are lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans.”