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".
"Parents know best for their children."— Sky News (@SkyNews) May 30, 2019
When asked about protests over LGBT classes, Tory leadership candidate Esther McVey told #Sunrise parents should have "final say on what they want their children to know".
Teachers are in tears as the row worsens: https://t.co/N8qwCQBkcA pic.twitter.com/Dmo5KGEyUV
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.
.@esthermcvey1 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. 🏳🌈 pic.twitter.com/iaAAWmf2VA https://t.co/z8kiVEzjLw— Justine Greening (@JustineGreening) May 30, 2019
"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".
All young people should learn about healthy relationships at school, including LGBTQ+ relationships. The Tory Party is pandering dangerously to the far right. https://t.co/0jmssHwnAE— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) May 30, 2019
Many of us grew up in fear of our identity. Disgusted @EstherMcVey1 - a candidate to be next Tory leader & PM - wants to prevent LGBT education to tackle homophobia & transphobia and support young LGBT people. This isn't just wrong, it's dangerous and illegal. Not fit to be PM. https://t.co/7iVbzNagNT— Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP 🌹🇪🇺🏳️🌈 (@lloyd_rm) May 30, 2019
There can be no compromise with our duties under equalities legislation, and no excuses for failing #LGBT young people. Esther McVey today on the media demonstrates why she lost her seat once as an MP and isn’t fit to be a PM.— Angela Rayner (@AngelaRayner) May 30, 2019
An Esther McVey premiership would almost certainly lead to the return of Section 28. This is her just laying the groundwork. https://t.co/RaT0l7QrxA— Stewart McDonald MP (@StewartMcDonald) May 30, 2019
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.