Carrie Johnson has defended Boris Johnson as “completely committed” to LGBT+ rights, despite the government’s delay in banning conversion therapy and the push back against trans rights.
In a speech to a drinks reception at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester on Tuesday evening, the prime minister’s wife said it was “blatantly untrue” that it was “incompatible” to be both LGBT+ and a Tory.
“Whether you are LGBT+ or an ally like me we are all committed to equality and acceptance for everyone, whoever you are and whoever you love,” she said.
“For all the progress we’ve made as a society, there is such a long way to go.
“Many of you here tonight have helped play a part in the journey our party has taken on gay rights and we can now say with huge pride that it was a Conservative prime minister who delivered equal marriage in England and Wales.
“I want you all to know that we now have a prime minister who is completely committed to accepting those gains and extending them further.”
The prime minister watched his wife’s speech from the back of the room as she said she had been “moved to tears” by the stories she had heard of homophobic abuse.
Carrie Johnson added: “There are still those who tell me that being LGBT+ and a Tory is somehow incompatible, well, looking around me tonight, we can see that is blatantly untrue.”
Introducing Johnson, the chair of the Tory LGBT+ organisation, told the audience that trans rights were at the core of the group’s mission. “Trans people are not scary, they’re not dangerous, they are not a threat,” she said.
Trans rights have become a divisive issue within both the Conservative Party and Labour Party.
The government pledged to ban so-called gay conversion therapy three years ago, however it has yet to act.
It is currently running a consultation on the practice, which attempts to suppress people’s sexuality, on the grounds of “defending freedom of speech” and “upholding religious freedom”.