AN MP described the situation as "so wrong" after the Government had to cancel its international LGBT conference following a boycott of the event.

"Safe To Be Me" was scheduled to take place in London in June to promote LGBT rights within the UK and globally.

The event had been planned to set an example to the rest of the world but was cancelled after more than 100 organisations boycotted it over the Government’s plans to only partially ban so-called conversion therapy.

Read more: Darlington Pride calls on Government to include trans people in conversion therapy ban

Bishop Auckland MP Dehenna Davison reacted to the news  last night.



She said: “We had such a huge opportunity to prove the UK (and the Conservative Party) is a defender of freedom. As a Conservative member of the LGBT+ community, it is so wrong it has come to this.”

Ms Davison came out as bisexual last year.

The Safe To Be Me conference was planned to take place in London from June 29.

More than 80 LGBT+ groups and over 20 HIV groups said they would not take part in the global, UK-hosted conference unless Boris Johnson would revert to his promise for a trans-inclusive ban on conversion therapy.

Durham MP Mary Foy said: "Conversion therapy is an abhorrent practice- discredited by every major psychiatric organisation- and has been described by the United Nations as a form of torture.  The fact that the Conservatives are content to allow trans people to be subject to this is morally indefensible.

"As the world’s first global LGBT conference, ‘Safe To Be Me’ was an opportunity for policy makers to work together to advance LGBT rights across the world. Instead, the Government has sabotaged this potentially historic conference in order to throw trans people under the bus once more.

"Not only have the Conservatives now lost what little credibility they had left as champions of LGBT rights, they have shown, yet again, that they are still the Nasty Party."

Last week, Darlington Pride was among the groups to add it concern over the plans not to include trans people in the proposed ban.

In a statement on Friday, the group said: “The members of Darlington Pride Volunteer Group and our supporters call on the Government to ensure any conversion therapy ban covers all LGBTQ+ people. Leaving trans and non-binary people out  of any proposed ban is completely unacceptable.

“As a community we are not protected unless we are all protected. We cannot stand against oppression for 'part' of a community, either it is abuse which needs to be completely banned across the board or it isn't.

“We stand shoulder to shoulder with trans and non-binary people across Darlington and the wider community."

For Labour, shadow attorney general Emily Thornberry said the cancellation of the conference was a “sickening waste”.

“For three years, I urged the Government to use the opportunity they had as co-chair of the (intergovernmental) Equal Rights Coalition to take a global lead on LGBTQ+ issues,” she posted on Twitter.

“For three years, they did nothing except talk up their ‘Safe To Be Me’ conference. And now where are we? What a sickening waste.”

Consortium, the umbrella body for LGBT+ voluntary and community organisations, said it was a “sad day” but the blame for what happened lay solely with Downing Street.

“The implications of the international LGBT conference being cancelled is solely at the doorstep of No 10,” it said in a statement.

“LGBT+ organisations were left with no choice but to withdraw any support in order to stand in solidarity and partnership with our trans communities.

“This is a sad day but one where we must begin to change the narrative and look to build a country where every person can feel safe and live a life with dignity and respect.”

It is understood that the decision not to go ahead with the conference was taken by Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who is also the Equalities Minister.


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