Equalities Minister Liz Truss Was Not Told About Boris Johnson's Conversion Therapy U-Turn

The senior Tory was in India when news broke that the prime minister's was ditching a key pledge.
Boris Johnson and Liz Truss
Boris Johnson and Liz Truss
Henry Nicholls via PA Wire/PA Images

Equalities minister Liz Truss was not told about Boris Johnson’s plans to ditch a key pledge on banning so-called conversion therapy, HuffPost UK has learned.

Truss, who is also foreign secretary, was only informed about the controversial move shortly before it was about to be broken by ITV News.

She was in India at the time having dinner with her opposite number, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.

A leaked document said “the PM has agreed we should not move forward with legislation” to stop conversion therapy – with the cost of living crisis and war in Ukraine cited as reasons to “rationalise our legislative programme”.

It is understood Truss was surprised at being caught unawares, given her equalities brief and the fact that she has been involved in developing the government’s policy in this area.

A Number 10 source said they had been “bounced”into confirming the plans by the leak.

Several Tory MPs voiced their anger at the U-turn, with one branding it “fundamentally wrong” and another insisting the “barbarity” of the practice must be stopped.

The prime minister, who has previously described conversion therapy as “absolutely abhorrent”, was then forced into second about-turn.

Government sources said the ban would go ahead after all - but not for transgender people.

Labour leader Keir Starmer has accused the government of using the row to distract from the cost of living crisis.

Speaking on a visit to Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, on Friday, the Labour leader said that “all conversion therapy in all its forms is wrong”

He said: “The government should just keep to its promises on this.

″But look, let’s be honest and clear about what’s happening today – the government is trying to get us all to talk about conversion therapy because they don’t want us focusing on the cost-of-living crisis, on the increase in energy bills, where they’ve got such a pathetic response.

“So it’s wrong, the government should keep to its promises.

″But, you know, this is classic Conservative, trying to sort of distract people over here, when really the issue is the cost of living and energy prices.”

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