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Tory MP Issues Plea For Party To Finally Ban Conversion Therapy

Dehenna Davison (alamy)

2 min read

Dehenna Davison, the Conservative MP for Bishop Auckland, has said the Conservative Party must be the party to ban conversion therapy after continued stalling on the issue.

The policy to ban conversion therapy has been proposed several times by successive Conservative governments, starting with Theresa May in 2018, but has been dropped each time. While Boris Johnson reiterated a pledge to see through the pledge in 2022, the discredited practice has not yet been outlawed. 

Now, according to a report in The Times, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is looking to abandon a ban on conversion therapy, as ministers thought that such protections were “problematic or ineffective in other countries”.

But Davison, who has said she will step down as an MP at the next election, has used a speech at a Pride Reception at the Conservative Party conference, hosted by LGBT+ Conservatives and LGBT+ charity Stonewall to make a new call on government to ban conversion therapy.

“We've got a decision to make as a party on what we do with regards to conversion therapy,” she told a packed room in the Manchester Central Convention Complex.

She continued: “I imagine many of us in this room are pretty united in the direction that we want to see. So all I'm going to say is ‘be noisy’. We need you over the next few days, few weeks – please be noisy.

“Make it known to your Members of Parliament, to your counsellors, and indeed members of the government that this is something we absolutely need to see followed through.

Davison added that the Conservative Party had “worked really hard to shake off the Section 28 reputation” – referring to a 1988 amendment to the Local Government Act banning councils and schools from “promoting the teaching of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship”.

Now, she says she doesn’t want “to see a single step backwards,” saying, “let’s be the party that follows through on our commitment to end conversion therapy once and for all for the entire LGBT community.”

Senior Conservatives had previously accused the government of a “moral failing” for delaying the long-promised ban on conversion practices that they say damage the lives of LGBT+ people.

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