Equalities minister Kemi Badenoch urged to resign after ‘failing’ LGBT+ community: ‘She’s not fit for purpose’

Emma Powys Maurice
·2-min read

Equalities minister Kemi Badenoch is under pressure to resign after “failing” LGBT+ people with her continuing deferral of legislation against conversion therapy.

Badenoch was roundly condemned for her “feeble” and “vague” speech at a parliamentary debate on conversion therapy on Monday (8 March), which gave no timeline for action against the practise, no specifics, and saw her repeatedly refuse to use the word “ban”.

With a coalition of the UK’s top LGBT+ figures slamming the minister’s “extremely troubling” response, a growing number of voices are now calling for her resignation.

Among them was veteran LGBT+ campaigner Peter Tatchell, who flatly stated that Badenoch is “not fit for purpose”.

“The equalities minister should resign,” he told PinkNews.

“She has failed to deliver long-standing government promises to ban LGBT+ conversion therapy and to reform the Gender Recognition Act. Her feeble statement on conversion therapy in parliament on Monday night was the last straw.

“The consensus among MPs who spoke in the debate was that it is time to outlaw this unethical, ineffective and harmful practice. But Kemi Badenoch offered only platitudes, with no concrete proposals, despite the government promising to ban conversion therapy over two and a half years ago.”

Tatchell notes that her response ignored the issue of trans conversion therapy and failed to offer any commitment to outlaw it; she also failed to engage with campaigners pushing for a ban.

“Kemi claimed she was ‘consulting widely’ but none of the 20-plus organisations supporting a ban have been consulted,” he said.

“She is justifiably being dubbed the ‘minister for inequalities’ and should stand down. Kemi has lost the confidence of the LGBT+ community.”

Tatchell was joined by Jayne Ozanne, who quit the government’s LGBT Advisory Panel in protest against the Conservative government’s “hostility” towards LGBT+ people.

Ozanne told the BBC that the minister had delivered an “appalling speech” in parliament and that she was “increasingly concerned about what seems to be anti-LGBT+ rhetoric” from the government.

Her work on the LGBT Advisory Panel has led her to believe that Badenoch and her boss, women and equalities minister Liz Truss, do not have “the best interests of the LGBT+ community” in their minds.

“I don’t think they understand us,” she said, adding: “I do think there are others more suited to this role who have more time to engage, and more heart for the work.”

PinkNews has reached out to Kemi Badenoch for comment.