‘Rainbow activists’ showing children ‘graphic’ material, says Cambridge academic

Sex education classes have been outsourced to “rainbow activists” who are showing children “graphic” material, the organiser of a right-wing conference in London has said.

James Orr opened the second day of the National Conservatism conference in Westminster with a speech in which he described “the intact family” as “the best stable for forming flourishing, virtuous citizens”.

He said: “It’s why the family has always been the chief target of authoritarian regimes. It’s why today, even here, children are exposed to norms and narratives imported from our cultural colonial overlords in the United States that are as poorly evidenced as they are politically partisan.

“As a number of MPs are now recognising and drawing attention to, sex ed in this country has been outsourced to pretty radical rainbow activists who, when parents ask to see what their children are being taught, plead commercial confidentiality, knowing that the material is almost certainly too graphic to print in a national newspaper.”

The issue of sex education has been raised in Parliament by Conservative MP Miriam Cates, who spoke at the National Conservatism conference on Monday, and Rishi Sunak has accelerated a government review into how the subject is taught in school.

Mr Orr, an academic at the University of Cambridge’s Faculty of Divinity, added: “Sexualised, misogynistic parodies of femininity are now routine in schools and public libraries in the form of drag queen story hour.

“The cargo cult of transgenderism is triggering a social contagion that is inflicting irreversible physical harms on the young and the vulnerable, and it’s corrupting the medical profession.”

Mr Orr is the organiser of the National Conservatism conference, which has brought conservative thinkers, politicians and journalists to Westminster and has already heard speeches from senior Tories including Suella Braverman and Jacob Rees-Mogg.

In his speech on Tuesday, he called for a conservatism based on freedom, constrained by commitment to religion, family and the nation, adding that countries that honoured their majority religion often treated minority faiths better as well.

Mr Orr also called for the UK to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights in order to impose tougher immigration controls, dubbing such a move “Strexit” after the human rights court’s base in Strasbourg.

He said: “We should win back judicial sovereignty from an activist foreign court that’s got no business telling us who can and can’t enter the country.”

Mr Orr added that the Conservatives “seem to be betraying their 2019 electorate” on immigration, claiming if net migration reached 1 million people it would be “one of the most consequential betrayals of an electorate in recent memory”.