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Government LGBT Advisory Panel disbands after three members quit last month

"Plans for a replacement for the Panel will be set out in due course," a Government Equality Hub spokesperson said

2021-04-13

Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: Wiki

The government's LGBT Advisory Panel has been disbanded after three members left the group last month over government inaction on banning LGBTQ conversion therapy.

Although terms were always due to end on 31 March 2021, remaining members this week told the BBC they were willing to stay on.

Initially left in the dark over the possibility of an extension, Equalities Minister Liz Truss has now written to the members to thank them for their "constructive input."

"A new body that will take international LGBT rights forward"

In a letter seen by the BBC, Truss said: "I will also be shortly making an announcement concerning the International LGBT Conference and convening a new body that will take international LGBT rights forward."

When approached by Attitude for comment, a Government Equality Hub spokesperson said: "The LGBT Advisory Panel was created under the previous administration and the term of all panel members ended on 31 March.

"The Minister for Women & Equalities has written to panel members to thank them for their contributions, and plans for a replacement for the Panel will be set out in due course."

Jayne Ozanne quit the panel last month, telling ITV News she fears a "return to days of Section 28” as the “government listens only to right-wing evangelicals" over matters such as the scientifically-debunked practice of conversion therapy, which attempts to change or suppress a person's sexuality or gender identity.

She also hit out at “ignorant” “Ministers for Inequality” Kemi Badenoch and Truss. 

Truss then promised to ban the practice, saying: "We're very committed to LGBT equality. We've recently brought forward plans to improve healthcare for transgender people and will shortly be bringing forward plans to ban conversion therapy."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the broadcaster the practice is "repulsive", adding: "I'm sorry these advisors have gone but be in no doubt, we will deal with this issue. It is technically complex to deal with but we are determined to take further steps to stamp it out."