Davis leads traditionalist vote to keep Section 28
Monday 10 March 2003
David Davis, the shadow Deputy Prime Minister, is to vote for the retention of Section 28 today if the Tories' alternative plans for school sex education fail in the Commons.
Mr Davis is likely to back an amendment by Ann Widdecombe, a former shadow home secretary, when she launches a last-ditch attempt to retain the clause. Up to 100 Tory MPs may support Miss Widdecombe and Edward Leigh, a former minister, in a vote during the report stage of the Local Government Bill.
Section 28 of the 1988 Local Government Act, which bans the "promotion" of homosexuality in schools, looked doomed after a cross-party group of MPs voted for its abolition in the committee stage of the Bill.
As a compromise, Mr Davis has drafted an amendment replacing the clause with plans to give parents a right to a ballot on the materials used in their children's sex education.
If, as expected, the amendment is crushed by Labour's majority, he will vote for the Widdecombe/Leigh amendment. "If you get rid of Section 28 without replacing it with any safeguards then it is not worth getting rid of at all," a senior Tory source said.
Divisions will be highlighted by the free vote, with those opposing Miss Widdecombe led by John Bercow, a former work and pensions minister. Others among the 40 or so Tory MPs expected to join Mr Bercow are Kenneth Clarke, Michael Portillo and David Curry.
Mr Bercow quit his post last year over Tory opposition to gay adoption, triggering a "unite or die" ultimatum from Iain Duncan Smith to MPs upset at his handling of the affair.
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 5 'Isis' schoolgirls: Missing British teenager tweets picture of her Syrian takeaway
Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
Ian Brady: Moors murderer announces his support for Ukip and the SNP
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
Power of Nepal earthquake was equivalent to 20 huge atomic bombs
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...
£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...
£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...