Esther McVey unfit to be an MP after LGBT comments, says Labour

Angela Rayner calls Tory leadership candidate’s views ‘illegal, immoral and dangerous’

Labour has accused the Conservative leadership hopeful Esther McVey of being unfit to be an MP after she repeated her view that parents should be allowed to take primary-aged children out of lessons on same-sex relationships.

Angela Rayner, the shadow education secretary, said McVey’s arguments in favour of letting parents take young children out of LGBT education were “illegal, immoral and deeply dangerous”.

“Esther McVey is not fit to be a candidate for PM and not fit to be an MP,” she said. “We cannot and will not fail LGBT young people. Not only do we have a moral duty to ensure that all young people receive LGBT-inclusive education, there is a legal requirement too under the Equalities Act.”

McVey first aired her views last week, drawing criticism from fellow Conservatives Justine Greening and Amber Rudd, who said the party could not pick and choose when it came to supporting equality.

Following the criticism, McVey hit back, saying her position was not controversial.

Asked on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme about her comments, McVey said: “These were very young children in primary schools and I said the people who should know whether it is age-relevant are the parents not the state.

“I believe that parents with very young children … four- and five-year-olds, and I would say that is a young child … their parents know for their child what is age-relevant.

“And by the way, this is not controversial. This is the same policy that Justine Greening oversaw. It is the same policy that Labour oversaw. For young children in this multicultural, diverse, modern society that we live in, I would say for very young children – as you say, four and five – parents have the say over sex education.

“But I happily agree and I welcome that LGBT rights are taught within sex education.”

The issue has become topical because parent protesters have been banned from demonstrating outside the school gates against LGBT teaching at a Birmingham primary school.

The local council secured an interim high court injunction banning protests from taking place within an exclusion zone around the site.

The interim injunction covers the streets immediately surrounding the school and bars protesters from printing or distributing leaflets, inviting others to protest and encouraging people to congregate at the entrance. The protesters will have a chance to make their case to a judge next Monday.

The order, published on the council’s website, also prohibits the use of social media to make offensive or abusive comments about staff members.

The move follows weeks of protests at various schools over the adoption of a programme designed to teach children about characteristics protected by the Equality Act. The No Outsiders programme has formed part of sex and relationship education (SRE) lessons in some schools. Its ethos is to promote LGBT equality and challenge homophobia in primary schools.

Contributor

Rowena Mason

The GuardianTramp

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