Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has backed inclusive sex education in schools – as rumours intensify she will run to be Prime Minister.
Nominations for the Conservative Party leadership contest close tomorrow, with an intense battle among top Tories aiming for the top spot – and Education Secretary Nicky Morgan is now thought to be preparing to announce a bid.
Ms Morgan opposed same-sex marriage in 2013, but has since apologised for her vote and become a firm supporter of LGBT rights, committing to fight homophobic bullying in schools as Minister for Women and Equalities.
Earlier this year, the government dismissed a report calling for LGBT-inclusive sex and relationship education to be made statutory in all schools, with rumours at the time that Downing Street had intervened to block Mrs Morgan from agreeing to reform.
In an interview with the Telegraph, Mrs Morgan appeared to confirm that her colleagues had been “squeamish” about the plans.
The Education Secretary told the newspaper that her party must “reach out” beyond its traditional base on issues that some conservatives may find “uncomfortable” like sex education.
She said that schools should include more explicit teaching about sex and online pornography, conceding that “some of my colleagues have been squeamish about this” but that reform is needed.
Sources close to the education secretary told PinkNews that she wanted to make clear her strong commitment to ensuring children receive inclusive sex and relationship education.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain, Mrs Morgan said she would focus on winning over young people.
She said: “I am actively considering [running] and talking to lots of colleagues and I do firmly feel that of course we’ve had discussions about the EU and our exit, but we also need to debate how we reach out to the centre ground of British politics.
“We see a country that is very divided between north and south, young and old, different educational backgrounds. Young and old thing is very important – we have to reach out to younger people who feel let down by last week’s vote.”
The new Conservative leader will be elected by September 2, and due to David Cameron’s resignation will become Prime Minister.
Front-runners include Home Secretary Theresa May and Brexit campaigner Boris Johnson, with Work and Pensions Secretary Stephen Crabb also attracting support. Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt is believed to be sounding out support for a bid, along with former cabinet minister Liam Fox.