Current Affairs

Theresa May ignites fury with ‘pathetic’ response to anti-LGBT education protests

Nick Duffy March 20, 2019
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Prime Minister Theresa May speaks during PMQs

Prime Minister Theresa May speaks during PMQs

Prime Minister Theresa May is under fire after failing to condemn anti-LGBT protests outside schools and comments from a senior member of her Cabinet referring to children being “exposed” to LGBT+ issues.

Gay Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle challenged the Conservative leader during Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday (March 20), after Commons leader Andrea Leadsom waded into a growing row over LGBT+ education in schools.

Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle urged Theresa May to ‘condemn bigots’ in LGBT+ education row

Russell-Moyle said: “I know the Prime Minister campaigned to keep Section 28, which banned LGBT+ people being talked about positively in schools, and led to millions of young people growing up in fear of being LGBT.

“I thought the Prime Minister had seen the error of her ways, but this morning the Leader of the House said on radio that parents should decide when [children] are exposed to LGBT+ education.

“This is Conservative party dog-whistle politics. Will the Prime Minister condemn the Leader of the House, condemn bigots that don’t want LGBT+ people to be heard in schools, and will she support Ofsted with good LGBT+ education in our schools?”

Theresa May failed to condemn anti-LGBT protests

May ignited heckling from MPs by failing to condemn either the protests against LGBT-inclusive education or the comment made by Leadsom.

She replied: “Can I say to the Hon. Gentleman, I’m very happy to write to him with the detail of guidance that is given to schools on LGBT+ education in teaching.

“I think it is important… the Minister for Women and Equalities [Penny Mordaunt] has been at great pains to ensure that appropriate guidance is given to schools.”

Facing loud cries of “shame” and “pathetic” from Labour MPs, May continued: “I will write to him… I recognise the issue the gentleman has raised, and I will write with him with details, because the guidance is very clear about what is appropriate.”

Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle had urged the Prime Minister to condemn "bigots"
Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle had urged the Prime Minister to condemn “bigots”

Speaking on LBC earlier on Wednesday, Leadsom had addressed protests against LGBT+ education by saying: “I think it is right that the government should have passed legislation that requires relationships and sex education is taught in schools, but at the same time, I also agree that it’s right parents should be able to choose the moment that their children become exposed to that information.”

Schools in England growing protests from groups of religious parents who are opposed to LGBT-inclusive education

The protests were started over the No Outsiders programme taught at primary schools in Birmingham, but demonstrators have since also targeted schools in Manchester to voice objections to teaching about LGBT+ issues.

Related topics: andrea leadsom, Education, Lloyd Russell-Moyle, PMQs, Theresa May

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