The government has committed to banning so-called conversion therapy, following the resignation of three equality advisers and amid allegations it was creating a “hostile environment” for LGBTQ people.
Equalities minister Liz Truss said she would “shortly” bring forward plans to “ban conversion therapy”.
Theresa May first promised to outlaw the practice in 2018, when she was prime minister, but the ban has been repeatedly delayed.
The government appeared to back out of the pledge earlier this week, when Truss’s equalities minister colleague Kemi Badenoch said she wanted to “end” conversion therapy while repeatedly avoiding using the word “ban” during a debate on Monday.
But Truss’ commitment came after three advisers quit in the wake of the debate.
Truss and Badenoch were described by the first, Jayne Ozanne, as the “ministers for inequality” amid the controversy.
Ozanne was followed by James Morton who accused ministers of a “lack of engagement” with the panel of LGBTQ advisers.
Then Ellen Murray said she decided to leave “due to the government’s persistent and worsening hostility towards our community in myriad areas”.
Under pressure, Truss told ITV News: “We’re very committed to LGBT equality.
“We’ve recently brought forward plans to improve healthcare for transgender people.
“And we’ll shortly be bringing forward plans to ban conversion therapy, which is an abhorrent practice.”
‘We’ll shortly be bringing forward plans to ban conversion therapy, which is an abhorrent practice’
Equalities minister Liz Truss confirms the government will ban conversion therapy, after three of her advisers quit over a lack of action on the issue https://t.co/y7ghbDt5sDpic.twitter.com/DZRdYKejK4
— ITV News (@itvnews) March 12, 2021
Boris Johnson claimed that banning so-called conversion therapy would be “technically complex”.
On a visit to Queen’s University Belfast, the prime minister told reporters: “I think this practice is repulsive and I think it’s abhorrent and I’m sorry these advisers have gone but be in no doubt that we will deal with this issue.
“It is technically complex to deal with but we’re determined to take further steps to stamp it out.”