Labour manifesto promises more action against homophobic bullying

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Labour’s manifesto for the general election promises that more money will be invested in tackling homophobic bullying in schools if the party is returned to power.

The document, published today, is titled A Future Fair For All and also promises compulsory “high quality” sex education.

Last week, the Children, Schools and Families Bill passed through parliament. Originally, it intended to make sex education, including teaching on homosexual relationships and HIV, compulsory for all students but the Conservative Party were successful in removing this clause.

Now, parents will have the right to withdraw their children from the lessons entirely, whereas the clause intended to give all pupils at least one year of sex education lessons.

In terms of health, the manifesto promises the party will continue to fight for universal treatment for HIV and AIDS by 2010.

As previously announced, the party plans to repeal a ‘free speech’ amendment to laws banning homophobic hatred. The amendment was made by the Tories after faith leaders and comedians claimed the law could criminalise them.

Launching the document today at a hospital in Birmingham, prime minister Gordon Brown said it was ”a realistic and radical plan for Britain that starts with securing the recovery and renews Britain as a fairer, greener, more accountable and more prosperous country for the future”.

He added: “The road to recovery that we have been travelling is also the road to a better and fairer Britain for all.

“Leave it to our opponents to try to build the present in the image of the past.

“The manifesto is written not in the past tense. It is written in the future tense because even in the darkest days of the crisis we never stopped thinking and planning for tomorrow.”

“We are in the future business and under my leadership we will always be in the future business. Building a future fair for all.”

Other promises in the document included restoring trust in politics after the expenses scandal,not to raise the basic, higher or top rates of income tax in the next parliament and replacing the House of Lords with an elected second chamber.

However, Mr Brown would not rule out a raise in VAT, although Labour promises it will not be extended to food, children’s clothes, books, newspapers and public transport.