POLITICS
09/06/2019 15:04 BST

Roger Godsiff To Be 'Reminded Of Responsibilities As An MP' After Backing LGBT Teaching Protests In Birmingham

The Labour MP said demonstrators arguing against LGBT lessons had a "just cause".

PA
Labour MP Roger Godsiff 

A Labour politician who offered his support to campaigners protesting against LGBT teaching at a Birmingham primary school will be “reminded of his responsibilities as an MP” by the party’s chief whip.

Roger Godsiff – who has been a Birmingham MP since 1992 – told protestors at Anderton Park Primary School they had a “just cause”, saying: “I will continue to fight your corner because you’re right.

“Nothing more, nothing less. You’re right,” he said in a video widely circulated on social media.

While Godsiff asked demonstrators to “consider calling the protest off”, he said it was their choice.

“I will continue to try and work to bring a resolution to this dispute but also to ensure that the school teaches the Equality Act in the same way it is being taught at all the other primary schools - where there isn’t a row.”

His comments were reported to Labour chief whip Nick Brown by shadow education secretary Angela Rayner, who called them “discriminatory and irresponsible”.

Meanwhile, the LGBT Labour group has called for the Birmingham Hall Green MP to lose the Labour whip.

But a party spokesperson said Godsiff would be “reminded of his responsibilities as an MP” by Brown.

“The Labour Party has long supported and campaigned for LGBT inclusive education in schools,” they said.

“There is not only a moral imperative, there is also a legal requirement and schools must comply with the Equalities Act. There is no justifiable reason to stop the teaching of these issues.”

Demonstrators in Birmingham object to the school’s use of particular relationship education materials, claiming the teaching is “over-emphasising a gay ethos”.

Protesters have repeatedly referenced the use of two books; one about two male penguins who raise an egg, and another about a boy who wears a dress.

Weeks of megaphone-led protests at the school saw the council successfully apply for a High Court interim injunction, which banned demos outside the gates for the first time on Friday.