Britain’s first openly lesbian MP Angela Eagle: I can’t believe the minister for women is anti-gay rights

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Speaking in the House of Commons today, Labour’s Shadow Leader of the House of Commons Angela Eagle has condemned the Prime Minister’s judgement for the Maria Miller situation.

Britan’s first openly lesbian MP, Ms Eagle, went further to attack the appointment of Nicky Morgan as the new Minister for Women, as she voted against same-sex marriage.

In a government reshuffle on Wednesday, sparked by the resignation of Maria Miller, Ms Morgan was appointed Financial Secretary to the Treasury and also Minister for Women.

She voted against same-sex marriage last year, saying “marriage is between a man and a woman.”

As Minister for Women, Ms Morgan will report directly to Prime Minister David Cameron and not the new Equalities Secretary Conservative MP Sajid Javid.

She said the department for women and equalities should also be renamed the “department for very low Tory priorities.”

“The last week has done serious damage to the reputation of this place. And demonstrated the Prime Minister’s total lack of judgement. It was clear that the Culture Secretary had to go to everybody but him. On Friday he wanted the matter to be left at that 31 second apology. On Monday he was dismissing rising public anger saying it was his job to pick the Cabinet. By yesterday he was claiming that it was all the leader of the opposition’s fault for not demanding the culture secretary’s resignation soon enough.

“After this fiasco its little wonder that the PM’s judgement is being openly called into question. The number of women in the Cabinet is at its lowest since when the Tories were last in government. We have a minister for women who didn’t vote for same-sex marriage and we have a department for women and equalities which doesn’t appear to exist any more. Perhaps they should just come clean and rename it ‘the department for very low Tory priorities.'”

She asked: “Will the leader of the House tell us now who has overall responsibility for the Government’s equalities office. Can he tell us which department the new minister for women will sit in and who will she report to. And will he now tell us which minister is ultimately accountable to parliament on these extremely important issues, because the Prime Minister’s official spokesman couldn’t yesterday.

“Can we have a debate in the acres of government time on what has happened to the PM’s pre-election promise to ensure that a third of his ministers will be women. It’s no wonder that women just don’t trust this Government.”

Ms Eagle was part of Tony Blair’s Government and during a PinkNews investigation into why Ruth Kelly, a well known member of the right-wing Catholic group Opus Dei was appointed Minister for Equality.

Labour’s Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities Gloria De Piero yesterday said Ms Morgan must represent all women, “regardless of sexuality”.

Human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said: “How can Nicky be an effective and fully inclusive Minister for Women if she doesn’t support the right of lesbian women to marry their partners?”

Downing Street told PinkNews the departmental changes reflected David Cameron’s desire to take a greater interest in women’s policy across government.