Government disbands LGBT+ panel of advisers

Liz Truss thanked ex-members for ‘contributions’

Today's daily politics briefing

The government’s LGBT+ panel of independent advisers has been disbanded by ministers, with plans for a replacement to be set out in “due course”.

It comes after three members of the body quit in protest earlier this year, criticising the government’s delay at introducing a ban on conversion therapy in Britain — three years after it was promised by Theresa May’s administration.

According to the BBC, members on the panel, whose two-year terms had come to an end in March, said they were willing to continue carrying out their duties, but were not clear if the panel still existed.

However, in a statement, a government equality hub spokesperson said Liz Truss, the women and equalities minister, had written to the members to thank them for their “contributions”, adding: “Plans for a replacement for the panel will be set out in due course”.

The 12-strong panel – set up by former prime minister Ms May – was created to act as a “sounding board” for ministers on policy decisions, publications and communications of government work relevant to the LGBT+ community.

It was expected to meet once every three months and comprised of expert organisations and the voluntary and charitable sector, but last month three members resigned after giving scathing assessments of the government’s work on LGBT+ issues.

Jayne Ozanne – the first to quit – accused ministers of creating a “hostile environment” for LGBT+ people in Britain for failing to bring forward legislation to ban the widely discredited practise of conversion therapy. 

Criticising both Ms Truss and equalities minister Kemi Badenoch, she said: “They are known among the community as the ‘ministers of inequality’. I don’t believe that they understand LGBT people, particularly trans people.

“I’ve sat in meetings and I’ve been astonished about how ignorant they are on issues that affect the real lives, particularly of younger people”. 

James Morton, another adviser who resigned, said there had been no “genuine engagement” with the panel over the last 12 months, adding: “I’ve been increasingly concerned about the direction of travel around trans rights.”

After criticism mounted, Boris Johnson, who last summer vowed to ban conversion therapy, described the practise of attempting to change or suppress an individual’s sexuality as “repulsive” and “abhorrent” when quizzed just last month on the issue.

“It is technically complex to deal with but we’re determined to take further steps to stamp it out,” he added

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in