Liz Truss admits ‘fundamental disagreements’ between her and LGBT panel members before it was disbanded

Liz Truss admits ‘fundamental disagreements’ between her and LGBT panel members before it was disbanded
‘Members of the panel supported self-ID for gender recognition certificates,’ says cabinet minister

Cabinet minister Liz Truss has admitted there were “fundamental disagreements” with the government’s LGBT+ panel before it was disbanded last month.

The minister for women and equalities told MPs there was a “difference of opinion” on the issue of the Gender Recognition Act, with members of the panel supporting self-identification for gender recognition.

Last year, ministers axed plans signalled by Theresa May’s government to reform the legislation, allowing people to change gender without a medical diagnosis, instead favouring what they described “proper checks and balances”.

Former members of the LGBT+ panel, which was disbanded in April, have since criticised the ministers in the equality office of creating a “hostile environment” for LGBT people.

Questioned at a Commons committee on the comments, Ms Truss said the panel was appointed by the “previous government”, reiterating the department’s explanation given last month that their terms were “time limited”.

But she added: “Of course we’re grateful for the contribution they made, but I think there were fundamental disagreements, namely members of the panel supported self-ID for gender recognition certificates.

“I very strongly feel as I made clear there need to be cheques and balances. I think the issue here is fundamentally a difference of opinion on that issue.”

Quizzed on whether the government intended to honour the commitments laid out in the 2018 LGBT Action Plan — produced by Theresa May’s government — Ms Truss added: “We set our plan for LGBT advancement of rights.

“We also in the Queen’s Speech announced that we will be legislating to ban conversion therapy in this country and we’re also working with business to make sure there is good support for LGBT people in business, particularly small businesses. Those are the priorities as I’ve set them out.”

She added the government would be appointing a new LGBT panel in “due course” to support the priorities. 

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