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Jayne Ozanne quits LGBT Advisory Panel, slams gov for creating 'hostile environment' for LGBTQs

Ozanne says she fears "return to days of Section 28” as “government listens only to right wing evangelicals.”

2021-03-10

Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: Former LGBT Advisory Panel member Jayne Ozanne and Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Twitter/wiki)

A top member of the LGBT Advisory Panel has quit her role while accusing the government of creating a "hostile environment" for LGBTQs.

Jayne Ozanne says she fears a "return to days of Section 28” as the “government listens only to right wing evangelicals.”

Ozanne told ITV News that her resignation was prompted by the government’s failure to ban LGBTQ conversion therapy, while hitting out at “ignorant” “Ministers for Inequality” Kemi Badenoch and Liz Truss.

"An increasing lack of engagement"

She told the broadcaster: "I’ve been increasingly concerned about what is seen to be a hostile environment for LGBT people among this administration.

"Over the years which the advisory panel has met, we’ve seen an increasing lack of engagement and the actions of ministers have frankly been against our advice.” 

Sharing the news on Twitter, Ozanne said: "I've resigned from @GEOgovuk the #LGBT Advisory Panel - and decided to say exactly what I think about this administration and the way they treat LGBT people, particularly trans people."

"I’ve been astonished about how ignorant they are"

The prominent gay evangelical Christian also told ITV News of Badenoch and Truss: "They are known among the community as the 'ministers for 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."

Badenoch serves as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Equalities while Truss is Minster for Women and Equalities.

Ozanne’s resignation follows a debate in Parliament on Monday, prompted by a petition signed by over 250,000 people calling for a ban on LGBTQ conversion therapy.

Former PM Theresa May promised to ban the scientifically-debunked practise, which attempts to change or suppress a person's sexuality or gender identity, back in 2018.

Boris Johnson echoed her claims in 2020, but there has been little movement until yesterday's debate.

Badenoch yesterday told MPs she wanted to "end" the practise (as opposed to 'ban'), alarming campaigners.

Ozanne, who has also resigned as a member of the Conservative party, added: "Frankly one of the reasons I’m resigning now is to appeal to the Prime Minister, who I believe is a friend of the LGBT+ community, to act, to understand that the proposals that are going forward on conversion therapy do not have the confidence of the LGBT community, do not have the confidence of many senior religious leaders who’ve also called for a ban."

Ozanne will appear on ITV News tonight at 10:15pm.

Attitude approached the Equalities Office for comment, and a government spokesperson said: "The government is committed to building a country in which everyone, no matter their sexuality, race or religion, is free to live their lives as they choose.

"We have repeatedly made clear that we will take action to end conversion therapy and we are working to bring forward plans to do so shortly."