New equalities minister vows to ‘root out prejudice’ at Instagram’s rainbow Pride Wall
Newly appointed equalities minister Nick Gibb has vowed to “root out prejudice” where it still exists.
Nick Gibb, an out gay MP, earlier this week became the Junior Minister for Equalities.
The Conservative politician came out in 2015, revealing plans to marry his same-sex partner after a secret 29-year relationship.
He was a guest speaker at the launch of Instagram’s rainbow Pride wall in London today, where he celebrated Pride in London as a minister for equalities.
Speaking at the event, he said: “It is an honour to be here for the unveiling of the INstagram Pride Wall as part of Pride in London 2017.
“Pride in London is a celebration of how far our society has come and this year will be a particularly special moment for me as it will be my first Pride in London as minister for equalities and minister for school standards.
“I wanted to take on this new role as I am committed to delivering greater equality for LGBT people. In fact I am determined to root out and challenge prejudice and discrimination wherever its last vestiges remain.
“This country has come a long way but there is still more to do.”
He spoke at the event alongside artist Josh McKenna who designed the London Pride Wall and Thomas Knights, photographer, director and campaigner, a member of Instagram’s LGBTQ community who spoke at the wall unveiling about how he uses Instagram as a community of support.
Mr Gibb’s appointment alongside returning equalities minister and education secretary Justine Greening, means both equalities ministers are out.
Gibb, a former Minister for Education, has been Bognor Regis and Littlehampton’s representative since 1997.
He will be charged with the day-to-day running of the equalities portfolio.
This will involve being responsible for students’ personal, social and health education, as well as their relationship and sex education.
In May, the Queen gave royal assent to a law which made sex and relationship education statutory in all schools.
The law committed to developing guidance to make SRE mandatory in all schools, after pressure on the issue from sexual health and children’s campaign groups.
This was especially visible when students flooded their MPs with Valentine’s Day cards calling for compulsory SRE.
Gibb has previously spoken out about the “unforgivable” lack of HIV education, saying: “When we have a survey which shows that one in four children are not being told, or taught, about HIV, which is a deadly disease that can be simply avoided and simply caught, a lack of knowledge in this area is unforgivable in our school system.”
The minister will also be charged with improving children and young people’s mental health services, and preventing bullying in schools.