UK parliament gets first LGBT network

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Lords, MPs and parliament staff will soon have a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender network.

The group, named ParliOut, will be launched next week with Speaker John Bercrow as its president.

It is the first of a series of “equality network groups” to be launched in parliament – although no details have been released about others.

Created with the advice of gay rights charity Stonewall, ParliOut will offer “mutual support” and a mentoring programme.

A cross-party board including Chris Bryant MP, Stephen Gilbert MP and Margot James MP will oversee it.

The network is the first of its kind in Westminster and prime minister David Cameron gave his congratulations today.

He said: “If parliament is to remain relevant to the wider public, it is vital that any barriers preventing LGB and T people from becoming MPs, or parliamentary staff, are dismantled. ParliOut is a fantastic and welcome opportunity to help achieve this.

“I want Britain to remain a world leader in LGB and T equality, and it is right that the mother of parliaments should support its LGB and T staff. I congratulate ParliOut on its launch, and wish it every success.”

Mr Bercow added: “Parliament as a workplace should set an example in good practice when it comes to equality and diversity.

“Therefore I am delighted to be able to welcome the creation of the first LGBT network group – the first of the equality network groups to be set up on the parliamentary estate. This is another positive step towards breaking down barriers in the workplace.”