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Boris Johnson has LGBTQ 'blind spot' when it comes to top team, says Lord Chris Smith

The peer has urged the PM to diversify his top team "in the next year or two"

2021-02-24

Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: wiki

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has a "blind spot" when it comes to appointing LGBTQs as members of his top cabinet, Lord Chris Smith has said.

Smith, who has spent the majority of his career with Labour, first shared his sexuality with the public in 1984, thus becoming the first out gay male MP. 

In 2015, he also became the first MP to acknowledge that he is HIV positive. He served as Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport under Tony Blair from 2 May 1997 to 8 June 2001.

"The glass ceiling in Parliament has well and truly been broken"

In a new interview with the BBC, Baron Smith of Finsbury said: "In terms of lesbians and gay men I think the glass ceiling in Parliament has well and truly been broken.

"The glass ceiling in the cabinet has been broken by quite a number of us over the years. Sadly at present they seem to want to put it back in again."

Lord Smith said he hopes Johnson will diversify his cabinet in the "next year or two" adding: "Look to the greater talent that is out there and it will include some people who happen to be lesbian or gay."

The proportion of gay, lesbian and bisexual MPS in Parliament is currently at its highest. However, there are currently no MPs who are publicly trans, which Smith has called a "glass ceiling" yet to be broken.

The late Maureen Colquhoun was outed as being in a relationship with another woman by the Daily Mail in the 1970s. She died earlier this month at the age of 92.

A government spokesman told the BBC Johnson was committed to improving diversity.

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