LGBT Action Plan

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:17 pm on 3rd July 2018.

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Photo of Dawn Butler Dawn Butler Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities 1:17 pm, 3rd July 2018

I thank the Minister for her answer to the urgent question. The Government’s action plan is a welcome first step. Although I would like to have seen more action, the action that it does contain is welcome. It is built on the foundations of the Labour party manifesto—I am grateful for that. I am more than happy for the Government to appropriate Labour’s ideas and policies because the more we can work cross-party, the better legislation will be. The Government would get a quick win on legislation if they were to implement Lord Cashman’s amendment to the Policing and Crime Act 2017.

I want the Government to be successful in this and to move the LGBT+ agenda forward. The “+” is important as many groups are not included and the “+” symbolises the fact that they are included when we talk about the subject, especially in this place. Paragraph three of the executive summary refers to the “bold action” that this Government are taking

“both at home and abroad.”

The lack of action on the consultation on the Gender Recognition Act 2004 created a hostile environment for trans people, so I hope that the Minister will say something that will move that forward.

We would also like to know the Government’s plans as chair of the Commonwealth. The Government now have a global platform from which to promote LGBT rights both here and abroad. Bold actions also require a stable Government and a stable Government Equalities Office. Since 2010 the current GEO has moved offices on at least four occasions and has had six different Ministers, and, shockingly, the Department’s funding has been almost halved. This type of upheaval is not conducive to a stable way of working for the equalities agenda.

Like the Government, Labour want to create an environment across the globe where people can be their true authentic selves at work, at home and publicly, and where they are not discriminated against because of who they are, who they love or how they look. I look forward to the Pride marches on Saturday and Sunday. I hope to see the Minister and her team there, and I look forward to challenging them with a #FlosswithPride dance-off.