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The UK's first trans MP Jamie Wallis is 'bitterly disappointed' with the government over 'conversion' therapy ban

Jamie Wallis said excluding trans people from a ban would amount to a "broken promise".

2022-04-05

Words: Alastair James; pictures: Wiki Commons

The UK's first trans MP, Jamie Wallis, has said he is "bitterly disappointed" with the UK Government's on its 'conversion' therapy ban. 

The Conservative MP, who came out as trans last week, was reacting to the government dropping plans altogether before suddenly changing track to recommit to a ban that would exclude trans people

The UK government has since come out and said it will consider a trans 'conversion' therapy ban separately calling it a "legally complex area" and saying they wanted to ensure "unintended consequences" aren't written into legislation, particularly for under-18s.

In a Twitter thread on Monday (4 April) Jamie Wallis, the MP for Bridgend in South Wales said: "I’m bitterly disappointed at the Government’s decision not to include gender identity in the ban on conversion therapy. Many have asked what my thoughts are.

"I’ve always believed that this debate attracts unnecessary hysteria and toxicity, and meaningful results can only come from meaningful debate. Understandably, concerns need to be looked at and debated, but it is wrong to exclude protections for a whole group of people from a practice described as 'abhorrent'," he continued. 

Referring to the latest announcement on the separate piece of work to deal with trans 'conversion' therapy Jamie said he hoped it would be done "at speed".

Finally, he delivered his strongest remarks: "If the CT ban passes through parliament without any protections for the transgender community, it cannot be described as anything other than a broken promise."

The MP's comments follow announcements made on Monday from more than 80 LGBTQ organisations, including Stonewall, The Terrence Higgins Trust, and the LGBT Foundation, that they were pulling out of the government's first global LGBTQ conference, 'Safe To Be Me', which is due to take place in June. 

Speaking to Attitude, Cleo Madeleine from the trans charity Gendered Intelligence said there was hope for groups returning to the table if the government recommitted to an inclusive 'conversion' therapy ban.

However, she added, such a move would be seen with "serious scepticism" and warned that the debacle around the ban "has every chance of being the nail in the coffin for any willingness for the LGBT sector to work with this establishment."

Attitude's new-look March/April issue is out now.