Current Affairs

Theresa May brings more gay marriage opponents and Brexiters into new Cabinet

Nick Duffy July 14, 2016
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Theresa May’s new Cabinet features more opponents of same-sex marriage than David Cameron’s, as she seeks to unite the wings of the Conservative Party.

The leader this week succeeded David Cameron as Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party in the wake of the decision to leave the European Union.

She has appointed a new cabinet aimed at reconciling the wings of the Conservative Party as preparations begin for Brexit.

While only four Cabinet ministers opposed equal marriage at the time of the vote, and five ahead of the reshuffle last week, Ms May’s new team appears to more widely represent Conservative MPs  as a whole – with nine ministers who opposed equal marriage, including Brexit Secretary David Davis – while opponents Andrea Leadsom, Dr Liam Fox and Philip Hammond all landed big roles.
Theresa May brings more gay marriage opponents and Brexiters into new Cabinet
However, there were also some prominent promotions for pro-LGBT politicians.

Newly-out MP Justine Greening was brought in as Education Secretary and equalities minister, while Boris Johnson – an early Tory proponent of equal marriage who was not in Parliament at the time of the vote – lands a role as Foreign Secretary.

Take a look at how the new Cabinet voted on equal marriage below.

Theresa May Prime Minister Yes
Philip Hammond Chancellor Abstained
Amber Rudd Home Secretary Yes
Boris Johnson Foreign Secretary Supported (Not in Parliament)
Liz Truss Justice Secretary Yes
Michael Fallon Defence Secretary No
Greg Clark Business Secretary Yes
Damian Green Work and Pensions Secretary Yes
Justine Greening Education Secretary, Equalities Yes
David Lidlington Leader of the House of Commons No
Baroness Evans Leader of the House of Lords (Not in Parliament)
David Davis Brexit Secretary No
Dr Liam Fox International Trade Secretary No
Andrea Leadsom Environment Secretary Abstained
Chris Grayling Transport Secretary Yes
Karen Bradley Culture Secretary Yes
Sajid Javid Communities & Local Government Secretary Yes
Priti Patel International Development Secretary No
Jeremy Hunt Health Secretary Yes
James Brokenshire Northern Ireland Secretary Yes
Alun Cairns Welsh Secretary No
David Mundell Scotland Secretary Yes
Patrick McLoughlin Conservative Party Chairman Yes
Gavin Williamson Chief Whip No

In a statement last week, Mrs May said: “When I launched my campaign for the leadership I set out my belief in building a country that works for everyone. Central to that vision is a commitment to equality, and I will always stand up for the rights of LGBT people.

“I supported Civil Partnerships in 2004, and was proud to sponsor the legislation that introduced full marriage equality in 2013 because I believe marriage should be for everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation.

“I didn’t believe the State should perpetuate discrimination and prejudice against LGBT people. That’s why equal marriage was a hugely significant social reform. And it also made a powerful and important statement that as a country we value and respect everyone.

“For me, equality is about fairness. It is simply wrong for anyone to face discrimination or abuse because of who they are or who they love.

“A Conservative Government under my leadership would be unequivocally committed to supporting LGBT people, and continuing the vital task of tackling hate crime, homophobia and transphobia – both in the UK and around the world.

“I firmly believe in an open, inclusive, One Nation agenda of social reform which will change our country for the better. That is what I would offer as Prime Minister.”

More: 2016 Leadership Contests

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