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First gay female cabinet minister Justine Greening slams Esther McVey over LGBT education comments

"You canโ€™t pick & choose on human rights & equality."

2019-05-31

Words: Will Stroude

Britain's first gay female cabinet minister Justine Greening has slammed Esther McVey over her recent remarks about LGBT-inclusive education.

McVey, who voted against marriage equality and is currently campaigning to replace Theresa May as Conservative Party leader and Prime Minister, sparked outrage yesterday after telling Sky News that parents should get the "final say" over school classes which acknowledge the existence of LGBT people.

Greening, who served as Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities between 2016-18 and came out publicly during Pride in London three years ago, told her fellow Conservative MP she cannot "pick and choose on human rights and equality".

The remarks came as homophobic protests continue outside several schools in Birmingham which had been teaching primary school children, tolerance, respect and the Equality Act. 

In a tweet sent publicly to McVey on Thursday (30 May), Greening shared a video of herself at Pride in London last year and wrote:"[email protected] you can’t pick & choose on human rights & equality."

"Children should understand a modern & diverse Britain they’re growing up in.

"Matters for social mobility too - you can’t be your best if you can’t be yourself."

Greening wasn't the only MP to lay into McVey following the comments: Labour and SNP MPs quickly lined up to denounce the Work and Pensions Secretary, while Labour Mayor of London Sadiq Khan accused the Tory pary of "pandering to the far-right".

Meanwhile, McVey's fellow Tory leadership hopeful Dominic Raab has proved he's no ally to the community after announcing he would not want to make it easier for transgender people to transition as prime minister - click here to read more.